Opening: Saturday 18.05.2019 // 18:00 - 21:00

Aphasia consists of three chapters, each focusing on the absurdity arising from the collective silence surrounding crime and the compartmentalization of historical events, tracing the line between Belgian colonialism, Austrian antisemitism and the war in Yugoslavia. The film borrows the term 'aphasia' not exclusively from medical vocabulary—where it refers to trouble finding words or losing the ability to speak—but also from the writing of scholar Ann L. Stoler, who coined the term 'colonial aphasia', referring to the occlusion of knowledge in addition to collective amnezia, and the difficulty of generating a vocabulary that associates appropriate words, or concepts with appropriate things. Through the tree acts the video installation navigates the viewer to stumble upon the fact that we perceive historical events as compartmentalized and distant, without perceiving their rhizome-like structure.

Like the bullet from the FN Herstal 1910 pistol that became emblematic of the WWI, and connected Bosnia, Serbia, Austria and Belgium in their seemingly disparate fates, the exhibition brings together compartmentalized historical events, through the history of racism and eugenics, focusing on the blind spots of history and the difficulty of speaking about the troubled past. The film charts the line starting with museum dioramas through photography to film, and sees them as deeply interwoven with imperialism and colonialism, used in order to produce a template for the blooming science of biological or physical anthropology.

Produced by Argos, Centre for Art and Media, Brussels
Co-produced by: Contour-kunstcentrum nona, Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM)
Supported by: Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and KASK School of Arts/HOGENT

  • Sun 19.5.2019 - Sun 14.7.2019
    11:00 - 11:00
  • Practical info

    Werfstraat 13 rue du Chantier
    1000 Brussels
    +32 2 229 00 03

    Opening hours: 
    Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 18:00

    NEW: Open late night until 21:00 every first Wednesday of the month.

    Entrance Tickets:
    6 € Individual visitor

    4 € Students, seniors (+60), unemployed

    1,25€ Ticket Article 27

    0 € -18, teacher, ICOM card members, press, IKT members, SUBBACULTCHA members

    NB: The entrance ticket is a personal pass that gives you unlimited access to the exhibition.


  • Artists