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artist Jean-Paul Kelly vidéo Service of the goods, Nuit Blanche Montréal

Jean-Paul Kelly, Service of the goods, 2013

artist Jean-Paul Kelly vidéo Service of the goods, Nuit Blanche Montréal

Jean-Paul Kelly, Service of the goods, 2013

Jean-Paul Kelly, Service of the goods, 2013 

Duration: 29:10


Service of the goods is comprised of selected scenes from American filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s seminal documentaries on state-run, tax-funded institutions, including Titicut Follies (1967), High School (1968), Law and Order (1969), Hospital (1970), Basic Training (1971), Juvenile Court (1973) and Welfare (1975). While creating shot-by-shot reproductions of each chosen scene, including accompanying subtitled dialogue, Wiseman’s representational strategy–his overall production and editing process–is, itself, evoked as an institution subject to the same means of observation and expression.



“In looking out on one of the great masters of documentary cinema and his body of work which set out to examine the failure of institutions, Kelly simultaneously re-engages a critique about the social safety nets in our society today and questioning the efficacy of documentary representation.”

            – Pablo de Ocampo, 2013 Flaherty Seminar Catalogue


“This film is not only a bang-on piece of filmic analysis; it also poses fundamental questions about the representation of social institutions, and those stuck inside of them.”

            – Michael Sicinski, Keyframe Magazine, “The Best of the Rest: 2013’s most inexplicably slept-on films.”






Jean-Paul Kelly (Canadian, b. 1977) is a video-installation artist exploring the relationship between materiality and perception. The videos, drawings and photographs that Kelly makes pose questions about the limits of representation by examining complex associations between found documentary and photojournalistic reference materials. Kelly’s work has exhibited at The Power Plant (Toronto), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Scrap Metal Gallery (Toronto), Mercer Union (Toronto), Gallery TPW (Toronto) and Tokyo Wonder Site. He was a Guest Artist at the 2013 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Other recent screenings SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art (Montreal), Nightingale Cinema (Chicago), New York Film Festival: Views from the Avant-Garde, Off & Free International Expanded Cinema and Art Festival at the Seoul Museum of Art, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival: Wavelengths, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Migrating Forms (New York), Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art (Berlin) and Pleasure Dome (Toronto). From 2009 to 2012, Kelly was Programming Director and Curator of Trinity Square Video (Toronto). He holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2005) and lives and works in Toronto.



Artist's website




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