"Looking for Alfred" is a Retrospective of Johan Grimonprez, consisting of film installations in two parts as well as hundreds of hand drawings, collages and photographs. The Belgian media artist achieved international acclaim with his video collage Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, a breathtaking recycling of pictures from news broadcasts, Hollywood movies, animated films. "Pictures of a social Utopia" shows later works by painter, sculptor and writer Otto Freundlich.
Johan Grimonprez - Looking for Alfred
The Belgian media artist Johan Grimonprez (1962) achieved international acclaim with his video collage "Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y", which had its premiere at the Documenta X in Kassel in 1997. In a breathtaking recycling of pictures from news broadcasts, Hollywood movies, animated films and commercials the approximately one-hour-long film tells the story of the airplane hijackings in the 1970's. Reality and fiction are blended together to relate new stories. This way, Grimonprez - child of the first TV generation -presents history in a completely new way: from a multitude of perspectives, fragmentally and manipulatively.
As with "Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y", Grimonprez' latest and by no means completed project "Looking for Alfred" plays with simulations and optical illusions. Point of departure is the figure of film director Alfred Hitchcock and his legendary guest appearances in his own films. Innumerable Hitchcock doppelgangers act out a mysterious game of confusion in which it rains umbrellas and swarms of birds evoke a sinister atmosphere. The imaginable claims to be true, the real seems improbable. This homage to Hitchcock, the "Master of Suspense", also pays tribute to the imagery of the Surrealist painter René Magritte - and, in doing so, to one of the central themes of the Sammlung Moderne Kunst (Modern Art Collection) at the Pinakothek der Moderne.
"Looking for Alfred" consists of film installations in two parts as well as hundreds of hand drawings, collages and photographs. The acquisition of this complex of works for the Pinakothek der Moderne has been made possible with the support of the foundation Theo Wormland Stiftung. The first presentation of these works in a museum gives an overview of Grimonprez' remarkable artistic development during the past 15 years.
The exhibition has been made possible with the support of the foundation Theo Wormland Stiftung | die Wormland Unternehmen and is also sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Flemish Community, Brussels.
Otto Freundlich - Pictures of a social Utopia
The 70th anniversary of the National Socialist exhibition "Degenerate Art" provides the opportunity to dedicate an exhibition to the painter, sculptor and writer Otto Freundlich (1878-1943). Freundlich achieved unwelcome fame when his sculpture "The New Man" (1912) was depicted on the cover of the exhibition catalogue accompanying the vehmic show. Today his work is regarded as a decisive contribution to a modern art that binds socio-political demands directly to pictorial content and concrete form.
After moving to Paris in 1925, Otto Freundlich established close contact with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, André Derain and Max Jacob. Nonetheless, he pursued his own particular artistic direction that was based on a comprehensive view of a social Utopia. These ideas led him to repeatedly assume a critical position vis-à-vis artists and intellectuals. Otto Freundlich understood the formal language of his abstract-tectonic sculpting and painting as symbolic of an ideal community. In it, the individual element is engaged in a dialogue with the whole. Freundlich’s art is thus a call for social renewal that can only be achieved through a new spiritual direction of the part of the individual. It is this notion of ethically committed art that places Freundlich’s work close to that of Joseph Beuys.
The exhibition concentrates on the artist’s later works. Focal point is the monumental sculpture "Ascension" from 1929, which the Theo Wormland Stiftung donated to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in 1983. It provides the point of departure for the presentation of selected sculptures and paintings that Freundlich created in the 15 years before he was murdered in the concentration camp of Lublin-Majdanek.
Opening: 09.05.2007, 19
Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Strasse 40 - Munich