Artist’s Project: Johan Grimonprez


A series of stills reproduced from the artist’s acclaimed 1997 film dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, a video collage featuring fragments of TV commercials, home movies, science-fiction films, and archival television news footage of hijackers, whose juxtaposition is meant to, in the artist’s words, “highlight the value of the spectacular in our catastrophe culture.”


Born in Belgium in 1962, Johan Grimonprez currently lives and works in Brussels and New York, where he teaches at the School of Visual Arts. His first film, dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, premiered in 1997 at Centre Georges Pompidou and Documenta X in Kassel, Germany. Focusing on televised representations of airplane hijackings in the 1970s, it meditated the tensions between fact and fiction in forming historical narratives. In 2005, Grimonprez completed the film Looking for Alfred, which won the International Media Award (Germany) that year and the European Media Award in 2006. Grimonprez, represented by Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, has exhibited at Tate Modern, the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2016, Grimonprez's most recent feature-length film, Shadow World, won Best Documentary Feature Film at the Edinburgh International Film Feature and the 61st International Film Festival of Valladolid, Spain.