Johan Grimonprez

Belgian filmmaker/artist Johan Grimonprez caused an international stir with his first feature dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) after its premiere at Documenta X. An exploration into media's mutating collusion with mass perception, this dizzying chronicle of airplane hijacking eerily foreshadowed the events of 9/11.

His recent feature Double Take (2009) questions how our view of reality is held hostage by mass media, advertising, and Hollywood. Written by award-winning British novelist Tom McCarthy, the film targets the global rise of fear-as-commodity in a tale of odd couples and hilarious double deals. Grimonprez's work is an inspired media archaeology that can be envisioned as both the joyful affirmation of a global disengagement, as well as the catalyst of effervescent criticism.

Traveling the main festival circuit from the Berlinale to Sundance, his critically acclaimed films have garnered Best Director Awards and were acquired by NBC UNIVERSAL, Arte, and Channel 4. In addition, his works are part of the permanent collections of the Tate Modern and the Centre Georges Pompidou, as well as having been exhibited worldwide. In 2011 Hatje/Cantz published a reader on his work called It’s A Poor Sort Of Memory That Only Works Backwards.


Lost Nation, January 1999

1999, 20:00 minutes, colour/B&W

Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

1997, 68:00 minutes, colour/B&W

Kobarweng or Where is Your Helicopter?

1992, 24:00 minutes, colour/B&W

Critical Writing

Television, Outmoded Technologies, and the Work of Lana Lin
by Maeve Connolly. Moving Image Review & Art Journal, 2013, v. 2, no. 2.
by Leah Sandals. National Post, Jan. 17, 2008.
Violent signals: Inspired by war in the age of terror, this...
by Jade Colbert. The Varsity, Jan. 17, 2008.
Pumping up the Volume of Art
by Blake Gopnik. The Globe and Mail, Aug. 19, 1999.
dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y
by Wilson Lee. Lola, Winter 1999, no. 5.
High-concept filmmaking on a low budget
by Robert Everett-Green. The Globe and Mail, Apr. 24, 1998.
Art of the Moment, Here to Stay
by Roberta Smith. The New York Times, Feb. 15, 1998.
Johan Grimonprez: Dial History
by Roberta Smith. The New York Times, Sept. 12, 1997.