Kunsthalle Bern

The Idea of Africa (re-invented) #3

08 Oct - 27 Nov 2011

© Sven Augustijnen
8 October - 27 November, 2011

Kunsthalle Bern co-produced Spectres, a film by highly regarded Belgian artist Sven Augustijnen (born in 1970). Shown in Bern together with Santu Mofokeng’s retrospective, it concludes the exhibition series The Idea of Africa (re-invented), which started in 2010. Spectres, a documentary film essay (90 min), recalls one of the darkest chapters in the decolonisation of the Belgian Congo: the events which lead to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo‘s first democratically elected prime minister. The film is constructed in the form of a voyage with main character Jacques Brassinne de La Buissière, a former high-ranking civil servant and protagonist in the political and humanitarian ‚thriller‘ that unfurled after the hasty decolonisation decision. He acts simultaneously as guide, commentator and symbolic figure, and we follow him through many crucial historical sites and symbolical moments. In the course of these peregrinations, questions arise about the manifest and hidden motivations behind the historic events of a still largely unresolved past, issues that continue to haunt past and present.

Spectres is produced with the support of Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds; Mu.zee (Ostend); CERA Partners in Art; Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels); KVS (Brussels); WIELS (Brussels); Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren (Brussels); de Appel (Amsterdam); Marres (Maastricht); Flemish Community Commission, Brussels; Kunsthalle Bern; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen; BUDA Kunstcentrum (Kortrijk); FLACC Workplace for Visual Arts (Genk); FRAC Bourgogne (Dijon); Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains (Tourcoing).

A substantial book published by ASA Publishers comprising reference documents, photos and explanatory texts accompanies the exhibition.

Tags: Sven Augustijnen, Santu Mofokeng