Johan Grimonprez was born in Roeselare, Belgium in 1962. He studied at the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York.
Grimonprez achieved international acclaim with his film essay, dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. With its premiere at Centre Pompidou in Paris, France and Documenta X 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.
His curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, such as at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich) and the MOMA (New York). His works are part of the permanent collections of major museums, including the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Kanazawa Art Museum (Japan) and Tate Modern (London). His films have travelled in prestigious film festivals around the globe, including New York, Edinburgh, Telluride, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Berlin.
Grimonprez divides his time between Belgium and New York and is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (New York).
During his festival visit at SIFF, the filmmaker will discuss the ways in which his artistic practice endorses hybrid, instead of dividing methods, as a response to the media’s systematic construction of reality.