Friday, 2 July 2010

Johan Grimonprez

Finally trying to get some 'quality' time together, P and I headed into Edinburgh this week so see what was on at the galleries. Unfortunately it was change over time at the Dean and GMA, so nothing new to see and we made for the Fruitmarket. And I'm very glad we did! If you get a chance, I'd really recommend going to see the Johan Grimonprez show that's currently on there.

There are a number of smaller videos but dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and Doubletake are two longer films with specific viewing times. We were too late to see Doubletake in full (but it's out on DVD so hoping to get it from the library) but did see dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and it was excellent:

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.

It's mesmerising. It's 68 mins long but we were so engrossed, the time flew past! The footage Grimonprez uses is both disturbing and gripping; the narration is haunting (he uses extracts from Don DeLillo's White Noise and Mao II) and some of the music is absurd - at the end, Van McCoy's Do the Hustle plays over the credits!!

It was also interesting to view this as someone old enough to remember some of the incidents used in the film.

We didn't have time to see Doubletake, but I'll let you know when I do:

Grimonprez’s film and video productions explore questions surrounding identity and doubling, fear and anxiety and draw on political incidents and the history of film-making. He frequently uses found footage, brought together to create complex and layered films. In works such as Looking for Alfred 2005 and Double Take 2009, Grimonprez has looked specifically to the work of legendary film-maker Alfred Hitchcock, focusing on Hitchcock’s presence in his own films through cameo appearances to explore the nature of doubling and repetition.


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