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.
The exhibition takes its title from the film ‘Every Day Words Disappear’ (2016). In 1515 Machiavelli stated that it would be better for the Prince to be feared, than loved. Some 500 years later, Michael Hardt, political philosopher and co-author of ‘Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth’, asks in this film what it would mean to base a political system on love, rather than on fear. In the dystopian city-state ‘Alphaville’, of Godard's eponymous film, all words and concepts relating to the idea of love and affection have been banned. When actress Anna Karina tries to express her feelings, she has to reinvent the words, for the concept of love is foreign to her. Like the protagonist in ‘Alphaville’, Hardt suggests that we need to redefine the tools to act politically together. Hardt embarks on a journey to identify the transformative powers of the ongoing struggle to re-invent democracy. Within this struggle he understands “the commons” as an antidote against a society run by fear; an inspiration for a paradigm that is based on dialogue and cooperation.
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