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Philippe Parreno & Rirkrit Tiravanija

Friedrich Petzel Gallery (535 West 22nd)
535 West 22nd Street, 212-680-9467
April 27 - April 29, 2006
Reception: Thursday, April 27, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

This exhibition will feature a 12 minute long black and white 16 mm film, as well as a group of 5 puppets in the likenesses of Philippe Parreno, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pierre Hughye, Liam Gillick, and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

The film is based on an occasion on which Parreno and Tiravanija were asked to join a lecture panel convened in 2005 to discuss a new book by Hans Ulrich Obrist entitled “Interviews.” In lieu of attending the discussion, the artists sent two puppets along with a ventriloquist to perform a planned dialogue. Similar to past projects the artists have produced involving re-enacted or recorded conversations, this work uses dialogue and language to examine and explore experience, memory, theatricality, and human interaction. In the film, Parreno and Tiravanija’s puppets begin their dialogue with a lighthearted, humorous, yet somewhat risqué repartee, ironic given the childlike innocence of the character puppets. Their conversation then moves into a much more sophisticated literary analysis focused on Obrist and his book, resulting in a contrast and movement that reflects the transient nature of both animate and inanimate objects. Parreno has said that his puppet acted as a vehicle, “so I could talk through him, and he could talk through me,” while Tiravanija has said that his work may intend to “demonstrate how individuals can be active contributors to their own media culture, rather than mere consumers of it.” With this collaboration, the artists are pursuing their goals through reinterpreting a critical lecture panel as a piece of art. By applying the Duchamp principal it only becomes a true work of art through the participation of the spectator.
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