Double Take: What Are You Saying?

Nov 30, 2018

Johan Grimonprez. kiss-o-drome. Digital video written and narrated by Eduardo Galeano in Double Take: Film and Text Works by Johan Grimonprez, continuing through December 6, 2018, at The Art Gallery at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
Credit Noe Tanigawa

Filmmaker, writer, Johan Grimonprez comes at you in different ways to create an experience.  By combining found footage, familiar movie clips, newsreels, and other material, he asks questions about the effects of media on historical memory.

Johan Grimonprez. I may have lost forever my umbrella. Digital video. 2011. Alfred Hitchcock is a touchstone for Johan Grimonprez, appearing with excerpts from his films in a number of the pieces.
Credit Noe Tanigawa

Double Take: Film and Text Works by Johan Grimonprez continues through December 6, 2018 at The Art Gallery at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery
2535 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu (UH Mānoa campus)
Mon. – Fri. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Sun. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays; Nov. 6, Election Day; Nov. 12, Veterans Day; Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day; Nov. 23, Non-instructional day.
Free admission. Donations are appreciated.
Parking fees may apply.  Free parking on Sundays.

From the catalog:  “Using a combination of found footage and scripted fictional scenarios, Grimonprez invokes the "double take," that uncanny feeling that one has missed something the first time around and needs to look again. Can the "double take" invite the spectator to negotiate the difference between fact and fiction in our ever more mediated political arena?”

Jaimey Faris teaches Contemporary Art and Critical Theory in the Art Department at UH Mānoa.  She co-curated Double Take: Film and Text Works by Johan Grimonprez with Jose Ferreira, a recent asddition to the UH Sculpture Department.

Faris:  Grimonprez is trying to recover a media archeology in our own recent past, from the 1940’s to the present.

Credit Noe Tanigawa

In kiss-o-drome (film still at the top of this story),Grimonprez combines these elements:  Brazilian samba music, plus, a narrator telling the story of Sorocaba, Brazil.  In 1980, the dictatorship outlawed the act of kissing as an affront to public morals.  The public reacted by kissing wildly, flagrantly, prompting the conclusion that prohibition had increased desire.  That audio and text, over 1930’s video of two roller skaters atop a building in New York City.  They spin, faster and faster, and gradually the woman lifts off, twirling above the city by a strap to his neck.  It’s weirdly exhilarating.

Other works combine newsreel footage of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, atomic tests, and more, with images from films by Alfred Hitchcock, an iconic touchstone for the artist.

Faris:  Grimonprez gives a picture of the ongoing connections between media and politics and the way they

Books and other publications are included in Double Take: Film and Text Works by Johan Grimonprez
Credit Noe Tanigawa

have informed, developed each other, made each other in the last couple of decades.  I think he’s trying to create a narrative across all of his films to give you a sense of how television arose at the same time that contemporary politics has and how they have made each other.