A two-part exhibition featuring works by, among others, Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alÿs, Pavel Braila, Chris Burden, Tim Clark, Jamelie Hassan, John Lotham, Live rightly, die, die borrows its title from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The exhibition is a laboratory for the study of the notions of exoticism and intercultural encounters such that they manifest themselves today in the visual arts. It offers an ethnography of tourism in the contemporary globalized world. In his video bearing the programmatic title The Intruder by Vincent Meessen, we see the artist—clad head to toe in an outfit fashioned of white cotton blossoms—strolling along the bustling streets of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The camera, which does not long remain undetected (and unexposed), accompanies the performer while simultaneously recording the reactions of the observers. The “white” as trespasser is both subject and object of observation, interpretation, and evaluation. He is, from the outset, perceived as image prone to being, at will, appropriated, discarded, or overlaid with new meanings.

Vincent Meessen - The Intruder
2005, 7’26”, colour, multiple languages spoken, English subtitles.