n. pl. cor·po·ra (-pr-)
1. A large collection of writings of a specific kind or on a specific subject.
2. A collection of writings or recorded remarks used for linguistic analysis.
3. The main part of a bodily structure or organ.
//Reviews of art. Art and language. Art and the body.
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Interview with Vincent Meessen and Katerina Gregos at Personne et les Autres, Belgian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale
Personne et les Autres: Vincent Meessen and Guests Curated by Katerina Gregos Belgian Pavilion, Giardini di Castello, 30122 Venice
9 May – 22 November 2015
The exhibition in the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th
Venice Biennale offers a complex exploration of the consequences of political,
historical, cultural and artistic entanglements between Europe and Africa
during the time of colonial modernity and its aftermath. It is a project that
connects not only with history but also with the present situation, since, as
curator Katerina Gregos reminds us: “Amnesia is a very, very dangerous thing.”
Not wanting to perpetuate the 19th-century
“nation-state” model, still used by so many of the national pavilions in Venice,
artist Vincent Meessen (b1971) has stepped back from the limelight and invited
10 further artists – from four continents – to show alongside him, challenging
the notion of exclusive authorship. This idea is further reinforced by the
borrowing of the exhibition’s title, Personne et les Autres, from a lost play
by the Belgian art critic André Frankin. “This title is a metaphor for the
position of the artist, within the context of a national representation,”
The centrepiece of the exhibition is a new audiovisual
work by Meessen, which revisits the role of the largely unknown Congolese
intellectuals within the Situationist International movement. Meessen worked
with the author of an unpublished Congolese protest song from May 1968,
reinterpreting the text in the form of a rumba.
Studio International spoke to Meessen
and Gregos about the ideas behind the exhibition and the role of the spectator,
exposed to the “sharing of a collective intelligence”, and invited to become “a
character in the show”.