• Johan Grimonprez, Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, 1997, still from a color video, 68 minutes.

    Johan Grimonprez

    Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK)

    One traversed “It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards”—the first large-scale retrospective of Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez in his native country—a bit as one might move through an unfamiliar archive: going from confusion to a certain order, from the perception of fragments to the awareness a common mentality, from the multiplicity of words to the emergence of a discourse. The imposing first gallery immersed us in a profusion of sounds, images, and texts that became clarified and coordinated in the progressively smaller galleries that followed; the contributions of

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