Fireflies – Philippe Parreno

Fireflies – Philippe Parreno


March 2019
ISBN 9781912122110
280 x 214 mm
312 pages
297 illustrations

A collection of intricate drawings by French artist Philippe Parreno illustrating the life cycle of fireflies.

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Fireflies presents a series of pen and ink drawings by the seminal French artist Philippe Parreno, best known for his film and installation work and for radically transforming the contemporary exhibition experience.

Parreno has frequently returned to the motif of the firefly, since reading ‘L’articolo delle Lucciole’ (‘The Article of the Fireflies’) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, published in 1975. In 2011 he began drawing fireflies and sent the resulting works as gifts to friends and collaborators across the globe. All 283 drawings are collected here for the first time, alongside an interview with Parreno by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London, and an essay by philosopher Vinciane Despret on time and mortality. Parreno’s Fireflies are among the most intimate and personal works from his widely celebrated practice.


About the artist

Philippe Parreno lives and works in Paris, France. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble and the Insitut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. He works in a diverse range of media including film, sculpture, drawing and text, through which ideas relating to time and duration permeate.


Hans Ulrich Obrist is a world-renowned curator and the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Alongside his curatorial practice, Obrist has written extensively on and around contemporary art, with a particular interest in the interview format.

Vinciane Despret is a writer and philosopher of science, teaching at the University of Liège, Belgium.