press release

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to present "Stories are Propaganda," a film by Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Based on thoughts and memories that arose during a trip to China, "Stories are Propaganda" was shot in Guangzhou (Canton), China's third most populous metropolitan area, in the summer of 2005. The 8 minute and 40 second long film consists of a series of unrelated stills shown in quick succession - a TV show, an albino rabbit, a snowman made of sand - which reveal the artists' thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness technique. The voice of a child wistfully recalling days past narrates the film, infusing it with a strangely melancholic tone: "...before you could get an espresso in Hamburg or Milwaukee...when people walked on the moon and snow covered London for weeks during Christmas time...A time when things were not weird, but strange, and then they were really strange."

The film begins with the sentence: "This is a journey through an infinite urban landscape," and it can be argued that the film is a journey through the collaborators' thoughts about experiences, distinctness and displacement. In the installation the dated codes of the cinema - a manually operated red velvet curtain - are immediately contradicted by the title sprayed directly onto the curtain. At the end of the film, the curtain is drawn, and the viewer leaves with a head full of images, stories and memories.

Philippe Parreno was born in Algeria in 1964. He has recently had major shows at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and the Kunstverein Munich. He lives and works in Paris. The forty-seven year old Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was awarded the fifth biennial Hugo Boss Prize from the Guggenheim Museum in 2004. He lives and works in Berlin and New York. Parreno and Tiravanija have worked together on numerous occasions, often with artist Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, and Carston Hšller. This is their second exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery.

Stories are Propaganda was first shown at the Lyon Biennale in 2005. This is the film's United States premiere.

only in german

Philippe Parreno & Rirkrit Tiravanija
Stories are Propaganda