Catalogue > Un extrait vidéo au hasard

Matthias De Groof


Documentaire | mov | couleur | 34:40 | Belgique | 2018

When the staff of the AfricaMuseum destroys the very dioramas they used to guard for decades, a colonial worldview is demolished. What remains are dead animals staring at you amidst ecocide. The violent destruction forms an allegory of museological and ecological relations. Diorama literally means “through that which is seen”. It is a window which wants to suggest life as truthful as possible through death. The diorama then, becomes a still life: a Vanitas. So still, that the sculptural becomes pictorial, until men enter the broken window and become part of the nature morte. Men animate death through caress and tear the animals loose from a morbid decorum that offered them verisimilitude of an obsolete landscape.

Dr. Matthias De Groof has a strong interest in film, Congo and (post)colonialism. He has a Master’s in Philosophy (HIW - KUL), International Relations (UCL) and Cinema Studies (UA). He studied African Studies at UMU (Uganda) and became a Fulbright and BAEF visiting scholar at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His PhD in Cinema Studies looked at African cinema. As a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), he studied postcolonial film theory at the Antwerp University where he also taught World Cinema, Aesthetics and Curating & Exhibiting. His scholarly work has been published in Third Text and Columbia University Press amongst others. He is regularly asked to talk and write in non-academic contexts and to curate film programs. His own films have been presented i.a. at the IFFR, Media City, Cannes Pan-African Film Festival and the San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, he works at the Collegium for Advanced Studies in Helsinki. His film-triptych on postcolonial museology (CobraFilms) and his book on Lumumba’s Iconography (Leuven University Press) are about to be published.