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Press Release


Opening Reception: Thursday, April 27, 6-8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to present a project by artists Phillipe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija. This show 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. This is part of an ongoing project in that the artists plan to use these characters for further scenarios in the future.

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.

Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija have worked together on numerous occasions in the past, many of which have also included artists Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, and Carston Hoeller. This is the first time the film has been shown in New York.

The exhibition will open at Friedrich Petzel Gallery on Thursday April 27, with a reception from 6 – 8 p.m., and will remain on view for three days through Saturday, April 29. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.