Textile installation for Ultramarine, created in collaboration with artist Vincent Meessen and scenographer Emilie Lecouturier
Like the shifting layers of blue in the film’s 35 mm cinematic image, as well as the surround soundscape, the textile installation offers an immersive experience to the visitor.
« Vincent Meessen is interested in History and in the construction of colonial modernity in the Western imaginary. Through a research process that is both systematic and speculative carried out in archives and on the ground, Meessen seeks to endow the document with a contextual agency. By linking it to people, objects and events whose intersection within a wide variety of media gives rise to new sensible experiences, the exhibition becomes a site for testing History in terms of the present. The resulting trajectories effectively skew received discourses, proposing rich transcultural and political rereadings and rewritings.
At the heart of the exhibition, is the projected film Ultramarine. Within a structure of layered textiles conceived in collaboration with designer Diane Steverlynck, blue is the chromatic, historical and discursive filter through which a performance by African-American poet Kain unfolds. The famed precursor of hip-hop in the late 60s delivers his “spoken word” as the Belgian percussionist Lander Gyselinck improvises to the flow of his utterances. Throughout the performance various historical objects—astrolabe, mappa mundi, automaton, textile, fresco, film stock—are juxtaposed to Kain’s performance props. They invoke affective retrospections on exile and belonging, slave routes and colonial trade ... »
Curator: Michèle Thériault
Kunstenfestival Watou, 06.2021 – 09.2021
The Power Plant, Toronto, 09.2019 – 01.2020
Leonard en Bina Ellen Art Gallery , Montréal, 11.2018 – 02019
Les Printemps de Septembre , Toulouse, 09.2018 – 10.2018