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Vincent Meessen (US/BE)
N12°13.062’ / W 001°32.619’ Extended, 2005

film still

Through the GPS coordinates, the title of the film identifies precisely, but abstractly, a location in Africa. As we follow two men roaming through this location, we discover a site that is by all appearances an archeological ruin. Yet, the images reveal this site to be the work of two labourers. They have sculpted thousands of bricks directly into the rock as if it were a piece of negative cityscape. This residual space is the inverted image of a planified city. At first sight, it is a document of the irregular practice of urban planning in Africa. But protocol used in filming and the addition of fictitious details, mean that it is also a factual fiction, which must be read on a metaphorical level. The workers play their own role as if they were moving projections. The names they are wearing on their T-shirts recall fictional literary characters, clues that indicate the possibility of other parallel readings.



Vincent Meessen (born 1971, Baltimore, USA) lives and works in Brussels. He studied journalism and cultural policy. He completed his postgraduate studies at the HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Antwerp. Starting with photography he now explores a multitude of media, including public space intervention and video. He mainly produces "documents of experience" in which he uses and corrupts documentary style. His work develops around the idea of "disputed spaces" and territory as a political issue in the postcolonial context. Besides his personal work, he has initiated various collaborative projects such as The Potential Estate (2006-...), UTIL(2002-...), Qui-vive (2003-2004) and was an active member of the collective Universal Embassy (2001-2005).
Vincent Meessen exhibits in various arts centers and festivals. He has had solo exhibitions at STUK (Leuven, Belgium, 2006) and in Brussels (Argos and Beurschouwburg, 2007)
He also has participated in many group shows or projects including Momenta Art (New York, 2007), e-flux video rental (touring in Pist///Istanbul + Mücsarnok Kunstalle (Budapest), Art House (Austin, Texas, USA), BAK (Utrecht, The Netherlands), MaRTA (Herford,Germany, 2006), Extra_City (Antwerp, 2006), Netwerk (Aalst, Belgium, 2005 & 2006), Contretype (Brussels, 2002), Thurn & Taxis (Brussels, 2001), Musée de la Photographie (Charleroi, 2000).
His videos have been shown in various museums including MuHKA_media (Antwerp) and Cinémathèque française (Paris) and in international festivals such as IFFR Rotterdam (2007), Oberhausen (Germany, 2006), EntreVues Belfort (France, 2006), Borderline (Bejing, China, 2006), Impakt (Utrecht, Holland, 2006), INvideo (Milano, Italy, 2006), Argos (Brussels, 2005), Courtisane (Gent, 2006), IDFF Jilhava (Czek Republic), Videomedeja (Novi sad, Serbia)... in art fairs (Art Brussels, Kunstvlaai Amsterdam, 2006) and in cultural centrum such as Buda (Kortrijk), Halles de Schaerbeek,...
He recently curated video screenings for the e-Flux festival @ Extra_City (Antwerp) and for BAK (Utrecht).
In 2006, he received three awards:
Best Belgian Short Film, 5th Courtisane Film Festival, Gent (Belgium).
Grand Prize International competition at the 52nd International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen (Germany).
Grand Prix best short documentary film, 21st Entre Vues festival , Belfort (France).

Solo exhibitions

Video works, Beurschouwburg, jan-feb 2007.
Les Sociétaires/De Venoten, Argos, Black box series, Brussels, 26 dec - 6jan 2007
Unincorporated, STUK, Leuven, 3-24 may 2006. Curator: Steven Vandervelden. (Contributions for Cabinet Jacotot by Herman Asselberghs, Johan Grimonprez, David Evrard, Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, Kateleen Vermeir & Ronny Heiremans, Adam Leech (USA), Laurent Flamand, Pierre Huyghebaert)
Meunier in dialogue*, curated by Museum Vanderkelen-Mertens, Leuven, april-september 2005 (with Allan Sekula, Koen Broucke & Sven’t Jolle)

Group exhibitions

Impressions noires, Grand Manège, Namur (Belgium), january 10-february 17, 2007. Curator: Pierre-Olivier Rollin/BPS 22
Weak Foundations, Momenta Art, New York, 01 december 2006 - january 2007. Curators: Eric Heist & Michael Ashkin
INvideo, Exhibition of video and cinema beyond, Spazio Oberdan, Milano, Italy, november 12-16, 2006
e-flux video rental (touring)
Curators: Anton Vidolke & Julieta Aranda
* Canaries Biennial , Canaries Islands, Centro de Arte “La Regenta”, (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), november 27 - february 10, 2007.
* Art House, Austin, Texas (USA), november 16 - january 7, 2007.
* Pist, Itanbul, (Turkey), november 11 2006 - 10 february 10 2007.
* Mücsarnok-Kunsthalle, Budapest (Hongrie) , juillet-octobre 2006.
* Extra-City, Antwerp (Belgium), april 19 - september 23, 2006.
LeereXVisons: ConneXions, art in public space, MARTa, Herford, Germany. Curator: Maïté Vissault (F)
Breughel Revisited *, Plantentuin Boechout/Meise (Belgium) , may 12-september 2006. Curator: Hilde Van Gelder (with Herman Asselberghs, Anne Daems, Nico Dockx/Douglas Parks & building transmissions, Hans Op de Beeck, Arno Roncada, Katrien Vermeir, Angelo Vermeulen & Dirk Zoete)
Ravenstein Galleries, 24-30 april 2006. Curator: Hans Martens (HISK) (with Stefaan Dheedene, Arno Roncada, Cédric Noë¨l, Eva de Leener, Tom Woestenborghs)
And Lucy liked it... *, HISK, Antwerp, december 2-18, 2005. Curators: Ann Demeester, Maxine Kopsa & Will Holder. (with ao Hubert Czerepok, Stefaan Dheedene, Erki De Vries, Adam Leech, Wesley Meuris, Cédric Noël, Nicolas Provost,...)


Video works distributed by Argos, Brussels.
IFFR, 36th international festival Rotterdam, January 24 - february 4, 2007.
Entrevues film festival awards: Théâtre de l’Espace- Cinéma Kursaal , Besançon, (France), 16-17 january 2007 + Paris Tout Court Festioval, Paris, january 2007
Videomedeja, Vodvojna Museum, Novi Sad, Serbia, 15-17 december 2006.
10th IDFF Jilhava, Czech Republic, 24-29 october 2006.
Entre vues, Belfort International film festival, Belfort, France, 25 november-3 december 2006.
Cinémathèque française, Paris, France, october 22, 2006.
Blah Blah Blah , State admnistrative cité, Brussels, sept 23, 2006.
Best Of festival, La Ciotat, France, 7-10 september 2006.
In The Palace, Balchik, Bulgaria, 2-9 september 2006.
Impakt festival (Panorama), Utrecht, Floating cinema, Holland, 23-27 augustus 2006;
Borderline Festival, Bejing, China, 22-25 june 2006.
Art Cinema Off Off, Gent (B), 19 june 2006.
E-flux festival, Extra-City, Antwerp (B), june 2006.
Kunstvlaai, Alternative art fair, Amsterdam (The Netherlands), 6-19 may 2006.
52nd Short filmfestival Oberhausen, International Competition, (Germany), 4-9 may , 2006.
Psychogeographies, Brussels Art Fair, IBK stand, 19-24 april, 2006 Curator: Paul Willmesen /Argos (with Peter Downsborough, Ria Pacquée, Herman Asselberghs & Erki De Vries)
Courtisane Festival, Gent (B), 18-23 april 2006.
ZOne, Documentair Filmplatform, march 15-19,2006 MuHKA_media (Contemporary Art Museum) , Antwerp + Kunstencentrum Buda, Kortrijk + Film-Plateau, Gent-Belgium. Curator: Cis Bierinckx
Argos Festival*, Inner and outer worlds + Belgian Focus , october 12-23,Brussels (B), 2005. Curator: Herman Asselberghs (with ao Chantal Ackerman, Jeff Cornelis, Johan Grimonprez, Els Opsomer, Eric Pauwels;...)
Terrain/Terrein #01, moving images on a bus trip with performances, augustus 29, 2005. Curator: S.Dheedene/F18 & Vincent Meessen/Normal (with ao Ivo Provost & Simona De Nicolai, Hubert Czerepok, Ronny Heiremans & Katleen Vermeir, Nicolas Provost...)
Event #02, Netwerk Art Center, Aalst (B), june 2005. Curator: Stefaan Dheedene/ F-18 (with a oPawel Wojtasik, Adam Leech,...)
Open Ateliers, HISK, may 2005.


Grand Prix court metrage documentaire, Entre Vues, International short film, Belfort, France
Grand Prize, International Competition, 52nd Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (Germany), 2006.
First prize, Courtisane Film Festival, Gent (B), 2006.

Collaborative projects

The Potential Estate, 2006-2009
UTIL: Curating the studio, 2002-2006. Last exhibition: UTIL#05: EXACT, 2-24 june 2006 with Stefaan Dheedene, David Evrard, Adam Leech (USA), Cédric Noël, Arno Roncada & Lee Waltron (USA)

Publication & edition (selection)

Joe Dalton n°2, décember 2005. Curator: David Evrard

Events , lectures & workshops

Concerning "Knowledge Production", BAK, Utrecht, november-december 2006.
Belgian Art reconsidered, Meise, may 12, 2006.
States of The Docs: panel talk "Picturing Africa", MuHKA_media, Antwerp, march 18,2006.
A.A.A. (Ateliers d’architecture autogérée), ECObox, Paris (F), januari 2006. Workshop by Agency, screening of "Traceur de Frontières"
K-Market, Joe Dalton n°2 displayed in the event curated by Komplot with in Paolo Boselli gallery 17/12/2005, Ravenstein galleries, Brussels.

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