Meessen’s work is set in Chandigarh, the paragon of the modernist city planned by Le Corbusier in the 1950’s as a symbol of the new, progressive nation of India which had just emerged from its colonial past. Due to its strategic location – close to the frontier with Pakistan and on the border between two Indian states, Punjab and the subsequently created state of Haryana - Chandigarh houses common institutions for both linguistic communities. The city’s architectural structure is that of a grid pattern, at the very centre of which the ‘Capitol’ rises: a phantasm of centralised political power, overlooking the unfinished city. Haunted by the ghosts of modernism, it leaves plenty of room for silhouettes, voices and sounds weaving together a fable cherished by the late architect about the Raven that wants to imitate the Eagle. “Dear Adviser” is a poetic address to le Corbusier and the in Chandigarh superstitiously as ’adviser’ disguised legislator.   

The work of Vincent Meessen connects forms of the documentary with performance and fictional elements. It reveals the artist’s interest in strategies of translation and forms of hybridization: from the crossfading of different locations and times, to formal short-circuiting of language and image, to conscious commixture of history and phantasm, of the political and the poetical. Subverting conventional filmic styles, his ’experiential documents’ (Meessen) draw our attention to the shifting territories, contested spaces, and informal architectures characteristic of the postcolonial situation. Despite their complex formal structure, all of Meessen’s videos transmit a sense of openness, resulting from their performative qualities. (extract from a text by Katrin Mundt for Argos, 2008)

Dear Adviser, Vincent Meessen, 2009. © the artist.  
  • di 05.5.2009 - za 16.5.2009
    12:00 - 19:00
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    Werfstraat 13 rue du Chantier
    1000 Brussels
    +32 2 229 00 03

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