Johan Grimonprez (b. 1962)
Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1998)
Johan Grimonprez was born in Roeselare, Belgium in 1962. He studied at the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York.
Grimonprez achieved international acclaim with his film essay, Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. With its premiere at Centre Pompidou and Documenta X in Kassel in 1997, it eerily foreshadowed the events of September 11th. The film tells the story of airplane hijackings since the 1970s and how these changed the course of news reporting. The movie consists of recycled images taken from news broadcasts, Hollywood movies, animated films and commercials. As a child of the first TV generation, the artist mixes reality and fiction in a new way and presents history as a multi-perspective dimension open to manipulation.
Grimonprez's Looking for Alfred, 2005, plays with the theme of the double through simulations and reversals. The point of departure is the film director Alfred Hitchcock and his legendary guest appearances in his own films. Innumerable Hitchcock doppelgangers act out a mysterious game of confusion in which Hitchcock meets Hitchcock. This puzzling game of confusion also pays tribute to the pictorial cosmos of the Surrealist painter Ren Magritte. Looking for Alfred won the International Media Award (ZKM, Germany) in 2005 as well as the European Media Award in 2006.
Grimonprez's productions have traveled the main festival circuit from Telluride, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, to Tokyo and Berlin. Curatorial projects were hosted at major exhibitions and museums worldwide such as the Whitney Museum in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and the Tate Modern in London. Grimonprez's work is included in numerous collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Kanazawa Art Museum, Japan, the National Gallery, Berlin and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Grimonprez is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (New York).
Johan Grimonprez lives and works in Brussels and New York.