28/11/2017 31' 44''

Practice-based research on location as a catalyst for stories, and the dissolving of his own work into that of others, are two of the recurring elements that run through the work of Baltimore-born artist Vincent Meessen. His multifaceted investigations – which he shares in the form of moving images, publications, sounds, installations and para-curatorial activities – connect an extensive network of collaborators and establish an absorbing structure of narratives capable of metabolising the encounter with totally unexpected characters and events. The discovery of colonial cognitive tests used to measure the capacity for abstraction in the Congolese population, the “invention” of the first local abstract artists by Belgian collectors, and the emergence of May 1968 protest songs written by a Congolese student affiliated to the Situationist International, are examples of projects in which Meessen identifies eccentric, unexplored episodes and reworks them based on a methodology that, he says, has a metamorphic value: to keep moving.

SON[I]A talks to Vincent Meessen about journeys, uprisings, and metaphors, about work cooperatives, music groups and constructed scenarios, about the politics of making versus the politics of showing, and about how to revivify lost or dying colonial memories in the present.

Timeline
02:44 'Patterns for (Re)cognition'
07:05 Colonial agents, pioneers of modern art
09:44 An apparatus to avoid being trapped
10:47 The invention of the other
12:17 Intuition and location
14:30 Shaping the tools we need
17:28 Situationists in Congo
22:12 The way you do it
23:52 A question for everybody

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SON[I]AVincent Meessenpost-colonialism