Impakt Event: Johan Grimonprez 20 February 2010

grimonprez

In Double Take, his second feature film, the Belgian filmmaker and artist Johan Grimonprez (author of the prize-winning documentary Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y) delves into the increasing influence of television, news, cinema and advertising on our understanding of the present and the past.

Inspired by a short story of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges in which the author meets his twenty year old self, Double Take culminates in the ultimate confrontation between filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his professional double Ron Burrage. Who is who, and who is the mastermind behind staging the perfect murder? Grimonprez combines fiction and reality, making extensive use of archival material – such as news images, commercials, and film fragments – and reviews Hitchock’s favorite themes: the play of doubles, the politics of fear (from the Cold War to the War on Terror, from The Birds to Independence Day) and the ideological power of cinema and television (from the early days of television to our current, obsessive zapping behavior).

Artist, director, curator and teacher Johan Grimonprez (1963)divides his time between the United States and Flanders. Although he works with various media – photography, digital clippings, and found footage – video takes a central position in his work. Grimonprez studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (KASK), the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. All of his early video works, including Kobarweng or Where Is Your Helicopter? (1992), investigate the impact of images on its viewers. Grimonprez consciously manipulates the conventions of the documentary genre. His acclaimed documentary Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) was a visually overwhelming trip, a compelling visual montage of the history of a plane hijacking eerily foreshadowing the world prior to 9/11.

YouTube-o-theek “Maybe the sky is really green, and we’re just colorblind “ (Johan Grimonprez and Charlotte Léouzon)

In this program, Grimonprez takes his audience on a trip through the Internet and the endless stream of information coming to us via YouTube and blogs. Viewers are confronted with a mix of reality and fiction and the imminent risk of manipulation. Maybe the sky is really green, and we’re just color blind is an ongoing project in which Grimonprez assembles and contextualizes amateur rarities, artistic responses to our television culture and highlights of commercial and political visual production.

77 minutes, English spoken