Skip to content

Press Release


Curated by Andrea Teschke
Opening reception: Friday, March 23, 6–8 pm

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

Stories are Propaganda was shot in Guangzhou, China's most urbanized area. 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 quickly moving images are a series of stills - a TV show, an albino rabbit, a snowman made of sand – which reveals the artists' thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness technique. 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 Musée 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.

Stories are Propaganda was first shown at the Lyon Biennale in 2005. This is the film's United States premiere. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011.