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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Double Take . . .

Double Take by Johan Grimonprez & Tom McCarthy.

Grimonprez’s second film essay, titled Double Take, 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. Paying tribute to the themes of doubling and mistaken identity, Grimonprez creates a unique interpretation of Alfred Hitchcock’s illustrious cameo television and film appearances, through which Grimonprez examines the influence of this cinema-icon on a deeper, more socio-political level. The film covers the post World War II period, characterized by prosperity and innocent consumerism, as well as institutionalized fear, through the beginning of the 1960s featuring Sputnik, Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon. The cold war era was characterized by the conquest of space, sexual politics, anxiety and paranoia disrupting the idyllic American suburban dream.

In the words of Alfred Hitchcock, “Television brought murder into the American home, where it has always belonged.” Not without humor, Double Take invites the viewer to question today’s hegemony of the image, the truth and lies of reality and its influence on our society, politics and culture. Johan Grimonprez’s work is included in numerous collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, the Kanazawa Art Museum, Japan, the National Gallery, Berlin, Germany, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Curatorial projects have been hosted at major museums worldwide such as the Whitney Museum in New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany and the Tate Modern in London, England. Grimonprez achieved international acclaim with his film essay Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y at Documenta X in Kassel, Germany, in 1997, which eerily foreshadowed the tragic events of September 11th in New York. His films have been included in prestigious film festivals in Telluride, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Berlin. Grimonprez is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (New York).

Grimonprez’s film Double Take will have an avant-premiere at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles March 12, 2009. It has also been selected for the 59th Berlinale International Forum 2009 in Berlin. It will be included in the following exhibitions: Un Certain Etat du Monde?, at The Garage, Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, Russia, March 19 2009, Magazin 3 in Stockholm, Sweden, March 28, 2009 and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland in May, 2010.


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