In 1999, artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno bought the copyright to a manga character they named Annlee. Over the next three years, they created works that would develop her identity, and invited other artists to contribute to the project.
The character first appeared in the catalogue of Japanese design agency K Works. The agency created manga characters for animated films, comics, advertising and video games. The unnamed image was being sold as a minor character without a developed personality or life story.
After acquiring the rights to this figure, Huyghe and Parreno set up an animation studio in Paris. They approached a number of artists to create works featuring different manifestations of the character, which they called Annlee. Responses included short films, sculpture, sound works and prints. The network of artists linked by this character was a vital element of the project. Each artist defined Annlee in their own distinct way.
The title of the project echoes a Japanese manga comic, Ghost in the Shell, first published in 1989. Themes of cybernetics and artificial intelligence explored in the comic raise questions about the ‘ghost’ of consciousness enclosed within the ‘shell’ of a physical body.
This display presents eight of the twenty-five works in the No Ghost Just a Shell series. The selection focuses on works exploring the multifarious and unstable identity of Annlee.
Curated by Carly Whitefield