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Marguerite Humeau: Riddles

French artist Marguerite Humeau has an innovative style of working. Studying biology, palaeontology and media theory as a basis for her sculptural works, the 31-year-old London-based artist is famous for her unusual sculptures which have been exhibited all over the world.

Her most recent exhibition, Riddles, enjoyed a two-month run at contemporary art venue, Schinkel Pavilon in Berlin. Curated by artist Nina Pohl, this was Humeau’s first solo show in Berlin, where entirely new work was exhibited.

The exhibition revolved around the sphinx – the mythical hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal. The sphinx guards two worlds, taking on the role of a protector but also deciding whether a person lives or dies and devouring anyone who can’t answer her riddle.

Humeau’s exhibition is based on a hypothesis that security protocols today, such as at checkpoints or borders, are biological descendants of the Ancient Greek sphinx. The mythological figure is resuscitated for the contemporary era, with the modern-day sphinx at Schinkel Pavilon made of a complex network of winding metal gates, complete with glass eyes and sound-emitting equipment.

Visitors to Riddles found themselves triggering a bizarre and unsettling performance as the metal creature activated itself, with the gates communicating with each other through radio signals. A strange symphony of metal clicks and spinning lights ensued, complete with the sound of bones cracking in the background. Perhaps they’re the bones of humans who’ve been unable to answer the riddle?

The fascinating piece of artwork was manufactured by Pipecraft. As tube manipulation and metal fabrication specialists, we used a number of techniques to produce the required result for the client. The mirror-polished stainless steel “gates” for the art exhibition were on display from 3rd June to 30th July at the Schinkel Pavilon. For further information about our bespoke solutions in metal, please contact us.