Catalogue > Un extrait vidéo au hasard

Vincent Meessen

Vita Nova

Fiction | dv | couleur | 26:56 | Belgique | 2009

In his famous essay Mythologies(1957), Roland Barthes demystified the French colonial imperialism by means of a photograph that appeared on the cover of Paris-Match. This picture, that became an icon of modern criticism, shows a colonial cadet on guard.Vita Nova unveils the biographical ghost underneath the surface of this mythical picture. When recited, Barthes words reveal slowly their hidden meaning: the unmeasurable weight of an historically burdened heritage. Vita Nova is a spiral movie in which History (Histoire), now chaotic in its temporality, returns in a more certain form as story (histoire). The found Time of history is here the survival to the image. It is the now, the temporality of the living, the untimeliness of the reciter.

Vincent Meessen (U.S.A., 1971; lives in Brussels) produces work at the crossroads of the documentary and conceptual art, whose codes he manipulates in order to create hybrids he calls ?documents of experience?: films, texts, interventions, photographs, etc. He focuses on the cultural appropriation of usages, signs or documents, which he moulds and reshapes as narrative. His work is characterised by a recitative style in formats as diverse as the essay (Vita Nova), the fable (Dear Adviser) and the tale (Les Sociétaires). He has developed a poetics of re-reading and translation, wherein the document is transformed into experience and experience into a document. He often employs collaborative procedures which undermine the authority of the author and privilege the collective understanding of multiplicities. Vincent Meessen?s work has recently been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) and has been presented with the collective Potential Estate at the Brussels Biennial and at M HKA (off-site) in Anvers. His films have been widely screened at venues such as the Jeu de Paume and the Cinémathèque française in Paris, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Swiss Institute in New York and in international festivals such as the IDFA in Amsterdam, the IFFR in Rotterdam, the Cinéma du Réel in Paris and Transmediale in Berlin. His films are distributed by par Argos centre for art & media in Brussels.