Jean-Paul Kelly, That ends that matter, 2016, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 12 minutes 34 seconds. Installation view, Delfina Foundation, London. Photo: Tim Bowditch.

“THE ACTIVITY OF LOOKING . . . helps us to be more truthfully aware of the condition of being alive.” These words, as spoken by Bridget Riley in a 1979 documentary, close Canadian artist Jean-Paul Kelly’s two-channel video Movement in Squares, 2013. Though he is an altogether different artist than Riley, the statement could be Kelly’s own. Broadly concerned with the production and reuse of documentary materials, Kelly combines a tactile engagement with found digital images, reenactments of events aligned with the production of truth (scenes from a courtroom, 1960s direct cinema), and abstract animation in the visual-music tradition. Through this vocabulary—which is as distinctive as it is effective—he probes our mediated experience of reality, or, in other words, the complex entanglements of looking and living today.

The found images that form the core of Kelly’s work

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