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Cultural Autopsy 5

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL...

31 October 2004
18:00 — 20:00


Location: Filmtheater t’Hoogt
Hall 1

The artist, film director and curator Johan Grimonprez divides his time between Paris en Ghent and is currently working on a new documentary on Hitchcock lookalikes. Although he works with several different media – photography, digital image samples and found footage – video is central to his work. Grimonprez achieves international acclaim in 1997 with Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, a piece that mixes snippets of archive material such as news items and extracts from science fiction films with personally recorded images. Already in the first video works by Grimonprez such as Kobarweng, or Where Is Your Helicopter? (1992) the artist articulates a strong concern for the impact of images on the viewer. Grasping onto an anthropological and sociological context, the artist directly and indirectly asks himself through his work what remains of the value of images in what he himself calls “our catastrophic culture”. The same properties of Grimonprez’ video work are also articulated in his selection in the Cultural Autopsy. His program casts criticism on Western egocentricity and it forms an enquiry into the impact of images.

 

About the program

The astonishment of the one at what is self-evident to the other, anthropologists who are subtly kept at bay, and a parody of the Western tourist who prefers to view the world through a lens.

Kobarweng of where is your Helicopter?
JOHAN GRIMONPREZ (BELGIUM 1992, VIDEO, 25:00 MIN)
In 1959 the first helicopter lands on Dutch New-Guinea, on board is a group of western anthropologists.  That culture-shock initiated this reflection on the meeting of different cultures.

Trobriand Cricket (An Ingenious Response to Colonialism)
JERRY W. LEACH & GARY KILDEA (AUSTRALIA 1974, VIDEO, 60:00 MIN)
The British introduced cricket to many of their colonies, and Jamaicans, Indians, and Pakistanis are among the. world’s best cricketers today. But in the Trobriand Islands, cricket escaped from its English mold. In the hands of the Trobrianders, it was transformed drastically into an enterprise that reflects and supports Trobriand culture, not transplanted English culture.


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