A video clip at random
Browse the Rencontres Internationales catalogue, or search the archives of the works presented since 2004. New video clips are routinely posted and the images and text are regularly updated.
Johan grimonprez
Three Thoughts on Terror
Experimental doc. | hdv | color | 5'0'' | Belgium | 2018
In Three Thoughts on Terror, investigative journalists Robert Fisk, Jeremy Scahill and Vijay Prashad approach the concept of terror from their respective angles. Fisk dismantles terror as a term that is rendered meaningless to alienate political movement from its origins: justice and injustice. Scahill points out that terror is a relative term, as its interpretation depends on which side of the bombing you’re on. Using the absurd example of the ‘The Hague Invasion Act’, he shows how the US sticks its thumb in the eye of international law: “Some republicans in the US Congress were discussing putting forward legislation that they referred to as “The Hague Invasion Act”, the idea that if US personnel were ever to be brought to The Hague on war crimes charges, the US could deploy military forces to The Hague to snatch those personnel and liberate them from the evil clutches of international law.” Vijay Prashad takes rather a philosophical approach, reciting Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz: “what you see around you, leaves you with no obligation but to feel something. And if that feeling cannot be controlled, you have to do something about it. You can’t refuse this world.”
Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Informed by an archeology of present-day media, his work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalization. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected political and social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasizes a multiplicity of realities. Grimonprez’s curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and MoMA. His works are in the collections of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; and Tate Modern, London. His feature films include dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997, in collaboration with novelist Don DeLillo) and Double Take (2009, in collaboration with writer Tom McCarthy) and Shadow World (2016, in combination with journalist Andrew Feinstein). Traveling the main festival circuit from the Berlinale, Tribeca to Sundance, they garnered several Best Director awards, the 2005 ZKM International Media Award, a Spirit Award and the 2009 Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and were also acquired by NBC Universal, ARTE, and BBC/FILM 4. He published several books, including Inflight (2000), Looking for Alfred (2007) and a reader titled It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards (2011) with contributions by Jodi Dean, Thomas Elsaesser, Tom McCarthy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Slavoj Žižek. He lectured widely, among others at the University de Saint-Denis (Paris 8), Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics; Tate Modern; MoMA (New York); Columbia University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); the Parliament of Bodies of Documenta 14, and he participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, and is now on a research grant at HOGENT/KASK , Ghent. His recent film project (with investigative journalist Andrew Feinstein), Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, was awarded a production grant from the Sundance Institute, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca IFF (New York). It went on to win the Best Documentary Feature Award at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival, and premiered its US broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS in 2017. Currently Grimonprez is developing a feature film based on David van Reybrouck’s play The Soul of the White Ant. With Belgian actor Josse de Pauw in the lead, and also featuring Prime-Minister Patrice Lumumba, shuttle diplomat Dag Hammarskjold and Jazz Ambassadors Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie & Duke Ellington, in a harrowing tale of cold war intrigue and termite poop, that is about to run off-script. His artwork is represented by the Sean Kelly Gallery (New York), and gallerie kamel mennour (Paris). See johangrimonprez.be for more info.