“Novelists and terrorists play a zero-sum game. What terrorists gain, novelists lose”. Grimonprez departs from Don DeLillo’s novel Mao II to draw a genealogy of airplane hijacking, that is in fact a fragmented tale about how the media has depicted airplane highjacks. To watch dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y independently means to get just a glimpse of an ambitious project: as it is often the case with Grimonprez, the artist conceived this film as part of a multimedia enterprise, that here included a fake airline magazine which switched the expected safety instructions for texts by, among others, William Burroughs and Leila Khaled.
dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y insinuates that, if we could get the chance to call history itself, we would probably get surprised by who would be holding the phone on the other side. Even if we know that this is an impossible situation, the truth is that history keeps ringing us. S!gnal picked up the phone in their 2006 exhibition ✝⚓♥, which explored “the eternal issues of life, death and love”. dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y was included in that show, which presented Grimonprez’ work for the first time in Malmö. The S!gnal team will recall with us what that experiment meant for them and how dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y ended up in an exhibition trying to address the unfathomable.