In his upcoming film Shadow World, artist Johan Grimonprez, investigates the dark corrupted ways of global weapon trading. The result is sharp, dark and hits heavy. In his presentation at the seminar ’Action – and its twised relation to the object’ at the Icelandic Academy of Arts this weekend he presented a few scenes of the still not completed film.
In between a couple of very stark interviews on severe political misconduct on a global scale, a schokingly beautiful clip of a rollerscating couple, dancing on a plinth. The voice-over tells us of an uprising in some brazilian city. Protesting against a ridiculous ban on homosexual kissing in public space, the entire city engages in hours of protest-kissing.
This miracoulous little clip, hints at the similar miracoulous ending of the film. Here the philosofer Michael Hardt contemplates his ideas of a new common, build on love. An empathic love, that he sees as a tool, with the capacity to change each and everyone of us. Only love can overcome the evil mechanisms of an all encompassing, capitalist corruption. A corruption of the most basic human capacity to create enduring communities and basic human solidarity. Only love can help us re-create the idea of ’we’. Who are we, what are we, and what do we want?
This most surprising turn of Grimonprez presentation, that ends our intense 2-day discussions on action, object and art, leaves us all exhausted, but silently happy. Here is actually an artist that points to a possible hope. A fragile, but possible glimpse into a future direction of our politics.
This might sound heavy and existential, but as in his work in general, Grimonprez delivers his arguments with a humble and disarming lightness that is hard to resist. Here is an example – the video-clip he uses to illustrate the connection between the twisted object (cake) and the figure of the rebel (action):