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"Transform documents into experiences and vice versa". This phrase by Aby Warburg could definitely be used to introduce Vincent Meessen's speculative realism, or as he calls it: 'documents d'expérience'. His archival investigations always lead to loose associations and appropriative gestures that are rewritten into critical narratives.
In his latest modular installations he combines films with printed matter and sculptures. Meessen produces narratives that question our ability to deal with the colonial ghosts of modernity. In his recent Vita Nova, he makes use of the filmic essay to re-read Roland Barthes in various postcolonial African situations, applying Barthes's deconstruction tools to some of his famous texts. Vincent Meessen likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives and of conceptual characters. He is a founding member of the artist collective Potential Estate and of the platform for artistic research and production Jubilee (jubilee-art.org).
Recent shows include KIOSK (Ghent), ARS 11, Kiasma Museum (Helsinki), Stedelijk Museum Bureau (Amsterdam) and Contour Biennial for Moving Images (Mechelen). He worked together with the collective Potential Estate for the Brussels Biennial and M HKA (Antwerp). His filmworks were screened at Jeu de Paume, at Cinémathèque française (Paris), at Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), at the Swiss Institute (NY) and at international festivals such as IDFA (Amsterdam), IFFR (Rotterdam), Cinéma du Réel (Paris) and Transmediale (Berlin). His films are distributed by Argos center for art & media (Brussels) (see also section on Art Organisations). Meessen has curated several film programs and exhibitions for various institutions including Extra City (Antwerp), Argos (Brussels), C.E.A.C (Xiamen, CH), E.R.B.A (Valence, F).