Best Contemporary Art Show Houston 2011 - "Johan Grimonprez: It's a Poor Sort of Memory That Only Works Backwards" at the Blaffer Art Museum
1300 Holman St.
Houston, TX 77004
Readers' Choice: Readers' Choice: "Neopopstreetfunk 3"
This sprawling, video-packed show brought the work of Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez to Houston. The standout was the artist's stellar film essay, Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. Collaged from the likes of archival news footage, Hollywood films and television commercials, the film presented the evolution of hijacking into a political and media tool. Smart, entertaining and darkly comedic, Grimonprez makes insightful and effective social and political points free of humorless harangue. The exhibition was organized by the Blaffer Art Museum's director and chief curator Claudia Schmuckli, and was accompanied by a reader that was one of the most engaging exhibition catalogues around. Filled with fascinating — and readable — writing about everything from the history of channel changing to stories about hijackers to an essay about ethnography, it was the kind of thing that even people who would never crack open an exhibition catalog would read. In the same way, Grimonprez's films are the kind of work that even people who hate artist films like.