Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez was propelled to international prominence when his highly acclaimed one-hour video Dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y, a smart, visually complex and imaginatively compelling cultural history of aeroplane hijackings, was first shown at Documenta X in 1997. In 2008, a first version of his new film, Double Take, took the Basel Art Fair by storm.
This exhibition will be the first British gallery showing of Double Take which, like Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, is a montage of found film, television and documentary footage, and a complex mix of meanings and counter-meanings. A riveting portrayal of the Cold War era and its defining preoccupations with the space race, sexual politics and the suburban American Dream, the film questions the Contemporary hegemony of the image the power accorded to the moving image in our culture. Written in collaboration with novelist Tom McCarthy, its central idea is the theme of doubling and mistaken identity, explored through Alfred Hitchcock's cameo television and film appearances.
Double Take will be shown together with Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and two earlier films, Kobarweng or Where is Your Helicopter, 1992 and It Will Be Alright If You Come Again, Only Next Time Don't Bring Any Gear, Except A Tea Kettle, 1994. A sustained presentation of the work of this important international artist, the exhibition offers the chance to trace the development of his interest in the power of popular culture to create new mythologies and cultural narratives.
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