Every Day Words Disappear
3 February - 10 March 2018
Void are delighted to welcome Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez to the gallery for a solo show from 3 February – 10 March 2018.
Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Informed by an archeology of present-day media, his work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalisation. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected political and social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasises a multiplicity of realities.
His works provides us with the tools to deconstruct and be critical of the mass media, the State, and the narrative that is driven through different mediums. We are living in complex times; politics are entering the realm of the surreal, the media landscape is totally transformed and with the acceleration of information we need to question what becomes normalised through the landscape of images that we absorb.
The exhibition follows the trajectory of Grimponprez’s practice from his seminal work ‘dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y’ (1997), which documented the history of plane hijacking from the late 1960s to the 1990s, set against the backdrop depicting a dialogue between a terrorist and a novelist, where the latter contends that the terrorist or bomb-maker has taken over the writer’s territory as he is able to play the media more succinctly. This piece was made prior to 9/11 that transformed geopolitics, to his most recent works, ‘Blue Orchids’ (2017) and ‘Raymond Tallis, On Tickling’ (2017); two new films. This will be the first presentation of these films – as well as ‘What I Will’ – in Northern Ireland and the UK. ‘Blue Orchids’ will be immediately followed by ‘Raymond Tallis, On Tickling’. In this short film philosopher/neurologist Raymond Tallis argues that consciousness is not an internal construct, but rather relational. Through the intriguing idea that humans are physically unable to tickle themselves (despite applying the exact same stimulus to the skin as another person would), Tallis explores the philosophical notion that we become ourselves only through dialogue with others.
‘What I Will’ (2013) is a poignant poem written and narrated by Palestinian-American Suheir Hammad. The flashing footage of military parades and anti-aircraft guns provide the backdrop to her powerful voice, in a time when we have seen unprecedented numbers of people protesting against war this is a valiant protest poem.