Sean Kelly is delighted to present | blue orchids | (2017, 48 min) and Raymond Tallis | on tickling (2017, 8 min), two new films directed by artist Johan Grimonprez. This will be the first presentation of these films in the US and will be Grimonprez’s first exhibition of new work at the gallery since 2009. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 26 from 6-8 pm. The artist will be present.
“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office” – Aesop
In blue orchids, Grimonprez creates a portrait diptych of two experts on opposite sides of the same issue––the global arms trade. The stories of Chris Hedges, the former war correspondent of The New York Times, and Riccardo Privitera, a former arms & equipment dealer of Talisman Europe Ltd (now dissolved), provide an unusual and disturbing context for shocking revelations about the industry of war. In the process of interviewing individuals for Grimonprez’s recently released feature length film, Shadow World, it became clear that these two men were describing the same anguish but from paradoxical perspectives. One has dedicated his life to unmasking lies and the other has built his life on lies. Making use of both their personal and political histories, Grimonprez gradually reveals the depths of trauma and duplicity, situating the arms trade as a symptom of a profound illness: greed.