MEESSEN, Vincent and KAMBALU, Samsom. History Without a Past. Ostend (Belgium): Mu.Zee Ostend, 2020. 36 p.; ill.; 10 x 15 cm.; ill. Green wrappers with text in black.

Booklet published on the occasion of Vincent Meessen and Samson Kambalu’s exhibition at the Mu.Zee in Ostend from 01/02/2020 to 17/05/2020. Features short biosketches of the artists, and short presentation of the art pieces, including

  • Sanguinetti Breakout Area : a sheet-by-sheet reproduction of Sanguinetti’s archive, which was first exhibited in Venice in 2015. This led Sanguinetti to sue Kambalu for copyright infringement, with Kambalu ultimately prevailing in court.
  • Game of War : Kambalu’s reinterpretation / detournement/ homage to Guy Debord’s “Jeu de la Guerre”
  • Quinconce : a collection of five silk prints by Meessen that contextualize the story of Senegalese revolutionary Omar Blondin Diop
  • Quelle que soit la longueur de la nuit…le soleil finit toujours par se lever : a film by Meessen that serves as an homage to Diop, who was captured and believe to have been murdered by the Senegalese government
  • Les Cinq Politiques : Meessen’s detournement of Jean Luc Goard’s instructions for the smoothing running of a location shoot for La Chinoise)
  • Chaosmos : a neon installation inspired by OK Jazz, the house orchestra at Kinshasa’s legendary colonial era club, Un Deux Trois!
  • One.Two.Three : a video installation about an unpublished protest song by Congolese student Joseph Mbelolo ya Mpiku in May 1968. Meessen found the lyrics in the archive of Raoul Vaneigem
  • and many others.

Contemporary artist Vincent Meessen and Samsom Kambalu engage in a thoughtful re-writing of Situationist history. Meessen has focused on surfacing the oft-neglected African and Carribbean dimension of the movement. See for instance Blues Klair (Toronto, The Power Plant, 2019). More about Meessen here and about Kambalu here and here