VMVincent Meessen


Vincent Meessen (b. Baltimore, USA, 1971; lives and works in Brussels). Meessen’s work and artistic research have consistently explored the history and afterlife of colonial modernity. Through the use of various media (video, installation, prints, music, …) he aims to ‘experience the document and document the experience’. His investigations lead to associations and appropriative gestures that are rewritten into critical narratives, pointing to the colonial matrix of western modernity. Meessen re-animates hidden traces of the colonial in the present and opens up new speculative scenarios.
Both in his work as an artist and in his para-curatorial activities, Meessen likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives. He was a founding member of Ambassade Universelle, a facility for undocumented people (2001-2005), of the artist collective Potential Estate (2006-2012) and of Jubilee, a Brussels-based platform for research and artistic production.

Current and forthcoming solo exhibitions include: Patterns for (Re)cognition, Kunsthalle Basel, February 2015; Mi última vida, Kukuruchos, Guadalajara, March 2015; My Last Life, FRAC Aquitaine, May 2015;Wiels, Brussels, 2016.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Mi última vida, MUAC, Mexico City; Patterns for (Re)cognition, KIOSK, Ghent, 2013; My Last Life, Netwerk, Aalst, 2012; Cher Conseiller, Cité Radieuse, Briey-en-Forêt, 2011.

Recent group exhibitions include: The Allegory of the Cave Painting, Extra City, Antwerp, 2014; Theory of Colors, MUAC, Mexico City, 2014; Let’s Swarm, Stroom, The Hague, with Potential Estate; When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, MOCAD, Detroit, 2013; When Attitudes Become Forms Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Un-scene II, Wiels, Brussels; A Blind Spot, HKW/Berlin Documentary Forum, Berlin, 2012; The Eye is a Lonely Hunter: Images of Humankind, 4th Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, Kunsthalle Mannheim; Le Rayon vert, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, with Potential Estate;  ARS 11, Kiasma Museum, Helsinki, 2011.

Meessen’s films were screened at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; MUMOK, Vienna; Cinémathèque française, Paris; and in numerous international festivals such as IDFA, Amsterdam; Cinéma du Réel, Paris; IFFR, Rotterdam and Fespaco, Ouagadougou.

On behalf of the non-profit organization Normal, Vincent Meessen has curated symposia, film programmes and exhibitions for various institutions, including CA2M, Madrid; Espace Khiasma, Paris; Extra City, Antwerp and Argos, Brussels.