Djevojčica koja je pala na Mjesec. Putovanje u središte fikcije. Anime-djevojčica luta Mjesečevim pejzažem a glas astronauta "Neila Armstronga" određuje joj svojim hipnotizirajućim rečenicama korak i scenografiju. Taj glas istodobno je njezin vlastiti. Kao kod Juliana Jaynesa: najintimniji glasovi stižu nam iz "druge sobe" naše svijesti. Prva "Armstrongova" rečenica je: "Ovo je laž." Fikcija i istina dolaze kao transmisije iz romana, filmova, svemira, ljudskih glasova, "pravih" i "lažnih" identiteta. U jednom trenutku prestrašio sam se da bi riječi koje čujem mogle biti moje vlastite, njihova jeka. Jesu li Armstrongove transmisije samo jeka maštarija Julesa Vernea, i obratno? Samima sebi uvijek stižemo izdaleka, s Mjeseca ili iz središta Zemlje, svejedno.
"One Million Kingdoms, 2001, is the most recent in a series of animated films in which a Japanese anime character, the brooding young girl AnnLee, is inserted into various dramas. Here she is dropped into a lunar landscape that is mapped out and developed in correspondence with the rises and falls of the narrator's voice - tinny, at times labored - digitally derived from a recording of Neil Armstrong. The stories of the first moon landing, in 1969, and of Jules Verne's 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth have been conflated here in a conspiracy theory of the faked and the fantastic. Armstrong's first words - It's a lie - prompt AnnLee, as she moves from place to place on a constantly fluctuating terrain, in which mountains, craters, ridges, and outcroppings rise and fall according to the intonations of the narrator's voice. His words blur the fictional and factual, using language that derives from distinct genres and centuries—Verne's work of fiction and Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's presumably true transmissions of their experience during the landing of Apollo 11's lunar module. Thus the landscape of AnnLee is a shifting terrain determined by utterances, which chart both the real and the imaginary.
..In Pierre Huyghe's One Million Kingdoms, a voice maps out unexplored lunar terrain. The voice belongs to a Japanese Manga character named AnnLee, for which Huyghe, along with artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Philippe Parreno, purchased the copyright in 1999. Featured in previous works by the three artists, here this brooding young girl speaks in a voice that is an electronically altered version of the astronaut Neil Armstrong's communiqués from the first moon landing; the text she recites conflates Armstrong's historic utterances with excerpts from Jules Verne's 1895 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Armstrong's words prompt AnnLee as she moves from place to place on a constantly fluctuating landscape, in which mountains, craters, ridges, and outcroppings rise and fall according to the sound waves of his (her) voice."
"Using time, memory, and the texture of everyday experience as his mediums, Pierre Huyghe conflates the traditional dichotomy between art and life. Working in an array of cultural formats—from billboards and television broadcasts to community celebrations and museum exhibitions—he reformulates their codes and deploys them as catalysts for creating new experiential possibilities. A mode of perception that lies in the interstices between reality and its representation is the subject of his two-channel video, The Third Memory, which reenacts the 1972 hold-up of a Brooklyn bank immortalized in Sidney Lumet's acclaimed film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Almost 30 years later, Huyghe provides a platform for the heist's charismatic mastermind, John Wojtowicz, to relate his version of that infamous day in a reconstructed set of the bank. However, rather than clarify the personal history that Hollywood wrested from him, Wojtowicz appears to have been heavily influenced by the film, a testament to the inextricable merging of real events, the distortions of memory, and the mediating power of popular culture.
The tension between fact and fiction is also at play in One Million Kingdoms, a work conceived as part of the collaborative project No Ghost Just a Shell, in which a manga character named Annlee is inserted into multiple artistic contexts. In Huyghe's animation, this adolescent girl wanders through a shifting lunar topography and, speaking in a digitally synthesized form of astronaut Neil Armstrong's voice, delivers a narration blending the actual transmissions from the Apollo 11 mission with excerpts from Jules Verne's 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Annlee appears as a translucent outline, an empty cipher for creative interpretation. Yet at the same time, she is literally the author of her own environment: the mutating features of the landscape through which she walks are generated by the inflections of her own voice. Huyghe's own experience provides the starting point for This is not a time for dreaming. The film documents a puppet show that tells the parallel stories of the modernist architect Le Corbusier's commission to design the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University, and Huyghe's own commission to create an artwork to celebrate the building's 40th anniversary. Shifting back and forth in time, the narrative weaves together historical and contemporary events with fantastical elements, in an allegorical representation of the struggles and compromises inherent in the creative process." - Guggenheim colelction
"An animated neon waif walks across the screen while a male voice speaks and subtitles run. In the background, icebergs sprout and recede like a sea of cubist stalagmites. Subtitles inform us that Jules Verne began the epic journey in A Journey to the Center of the Earth in the same region of Iceland that NASA practiced lunar rover operations. The narrator’s voice sounds like an astronaut speaking through a space helmet. A couple of phrases stand out: “prepare us for the spectacle of isolation” and “we want to enter the unknown where the greatest mysteries are under our footsteps.”
It is hard to understand the distorted soundtrack, especially while reading the seemingly unrelated subtitles and watching the cartoon all at once. Each element of the piece requires focusing on it to the exclusion of all other elements. The viewer is required to deconstruct the piece in order to take it all in. Eventually the video ends, somewhat arbitrarily.
Reading the exhibition catalog, one finds out that the cartoon waif’s name is Annlee, and the rights to her image were purchased and in turn loaned to thirteen artists to create artwork—a digital Mono Lisa pimped out to the highest bidder. One Million Kingdoms is one in a thirteen-part series titled No Ghost Just A Shell, inspired by the animated Japanese film Ghost In the Shell. Got that? There’s more. The narrator’s synthetic voice is in fact Neil Armstrong reading from A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The visual simplicity of One Million Kingdoms belies the density of Verne’s nineteenth-century text and, ultimately, the artist’s intention. Huyghe states, “In this piece, Annlee is expressing the consequences of what we do. She is walking in the consequence of what she is planning and what she is saying.” OK, but Annlee looks like she’d be a lot happier on Venice Beach with a skateboard. There is too much going on, threaded together in a way that makes the whole less than the sum of its parts.
... Huyghe’s work, like most post modern gestures, is at odds with itself, unable to saturate our senses or complete a thought. We are constantly required to shift gears from reading to listening to viewing; the magic of instant effect is sacrificed. Paradoxically, this halting quality is exacerbated by what seems to be the static nature of video. Unlike painting and sculpture, video runs at one speed unless you’ve got a remote control. You can neither breeze past it nor linger over it. Its temporal quality is rigid. And unlike painting and sculpture, video lacks a sensual, material presence underlying the viewing experience, appealing instead to the narrative regions of our brains. Huyghe’s blending of fiction and history is intriguing, but if it is possible for art to be more layered and dependant on the crutch of written explanation, one shudders." -Kevin Bouchard