Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy

Gillick & Parreno

Some thoughts on Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy an animated film by Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno.

Dimitra Vamiali

Mega-collector comes to the gallery and asks: Did Brian Ferry work with Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno? I’m sorry we do not know. Does Brian know that they used his name? I’m sorry again, we do not know. Our lack of knowledge about the conditions under which the film was created made us feel quite uncomfortable. Amechania. That’s it. Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy is Brian Ferry or is Tom and Jerry? The animated film titled Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy, a collaboration project by Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno is a cartoon animation in ten episodes and lasts 28 minutes.

Episode after episode the film more or less unfolds the old scenario where the "bad" cat chasing the "good" mouse. Borrowing this old story of the cat and the mouse as it is presented in the old-fashioned cartoons series, Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno create a new and much more complicated story where existing values are reconsidered. Art and copyright is offered here as an ongoing discussion with no moral approaches and full of not answered questions.

They paraphrase the name of the famous musician by extending the letters of his name in order to title their collaborative work. There is no clue if they did ask for any permission to use his name. And this is only one of a number of apt tools that the artists used in order to critique the relationship between law and creativity or more precise art and copyright.

A viewer could recognise familiar elements and quotes that they have been used before, the music, the titles, the type lettering, the subtitles at the end of each episode. Are they stolen or they were permitted to do so, asked young music fan girl. Short, fast and rhythmical each episode starts with the same clip like in TV series, and ends at a point where you just want more. At the moment you are starting to love it and get absorbed, it ends. People stayed more that one hour, a record time for gallery's exhibition viewers.

A plethora of references and cross points where an extremely rich source of interrelations and connections take place, create an organic anti-narrative sequel of framed images and goes back to all the power games with no conclusion or definition. Within this repetitive existing frame samples and examples follow one another.

In an attempt to avoid any descriptional approach to the subject the artists investigate the possibilities that are given by the structure of the film itself where separate elements such as the titles, the music, reflect a point of research of the methods under which this artistic creativity avoids the copyright laws. The copyright is presented here not as a battlefield where the “bad law” chasing the “good artistic creativity” but as an open to interpretations arena where art might be the last possible bulwark of artistic freedom, if there is any, using more or less the same value system with the old-fashioned cartoons. In this music clip type delirium, Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy film questions not only the limits of an artwork with copyright laws but also the limits of the artwork itself. The first is not necessarily the best?

The animation film was created in 2004 and presented at Lund Konsthall (Lund), Air de Paris (Paris) and Vamiali’s Gallery (Athens).