About vincent meessen

Vincent Meessen (b. Baltimore, USA, 1971; lives and works in Brussels) is a visual artist. Through the use of various media (cinema, photography, sound,...) Meessen aims to ‘experience the document and document the experience’. His artistic investigations point to the colonial matrix of western modernity. Meessen reactivates hidden traces of the colonial in the present and opens up new critical scenarios. Both in his work as an artist and in his curatorial activities, Meessen likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives. With ten guests artists, Meessen represented Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Recent major exhibitions include: "Omar en mai" at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2018, "Patterns for (Re)cognition" at BOZAR, Brussels, 2017, "OK/KO" in the frame of "Dans la pluralité des mondes",  Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse (F), 2016; "Sire je suis de l’ôtre pays" in WIELS, Brussels 2016 and "Patterns for (Re)cognition" at the Kunsthalle Basel, 2015. Recent group presentations include "Gestures and archives of the present, genealogies of the future", Taipei Biennale, Taïwan, 2016 and "The Family of the Invisible" at the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), 2016.


Expertise are the different fields where an expert excels.

Professional Working Proficiency
Native or Bilingual Proficiency

Interests are where experts would like to focus their attention on Collectivity and try new fields.


Postgraduate Visual Arts
Hogher Instituut voor Schone Kunsten (HISK)
September 2004 to June 2005
Antwerp, Belgium

Brevet d'Aptitude à l'Administration de Politiques Culturelles
Communauté Française de Belgique
September 1996 to May 1998
Namur, Belgium
Cultural policy administration relates to the implementation of innovative and possibly disruptive practices within the art and cultural institutions supported by the french speaking authorities : museums, art and cultural centers, theater companies, ...

Institut des Hautes Etudes en Communications Sociales (IHECS)
September 1988 to June 1992
Brussels, Belgium
I've studied Journalism. My final dissertation was an ethical reflection on the relationships between humanitarian aid and photojournalism and the problematic production of an imagery of suffering.


Artist and producer
56th Venice Biennale / Contemporary Art
February 2014 to November 2015
Venice , Italy
Personne et les autres/ No-one and the Others The Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale presented the work of Belgian artist Vincent Meessen together with international guest artists. Meessen’s proposal "Personne et les autres" broke the tradition of Belgium’s representation in Venice to date, which had mostly featured solo or duo exhibitions of Belgian artists. It challenged the notion of the ‘national representation’ by moving away from the traditional format of a solo show and opening up to include multiple positions and viewpoints. "Personne et les autres" took the history of the Belgian Pavilion and the international context of the Biennale (both derived from the colonial exhibitions and world expositions) as its points of departure. The Belgian Pavilion itself was the first foreign Pavilion to be built in the Giardini in Venice, during the reign of King Leopold II. The project aimed to provide insight into the diverse forms – whether artistic, cultural, or intellectual - that were produced by colonial encounters. The centerpiece of the exhibition is an audio-visual work by Vincent Meessen, which explores the role of Congolese intellectuals within the Situationist International, a revolutionary movement set up by artists and intellectuals in the late Fifties. The exhibition featured ten other artists from four continents and – for the first time in the Pavilion – artists from Africa, all of whose work has probed the question of colonial modernity.


Patterns for (Re)cognition
Authors:  Elena Filipovic, Yasmine van Pee, Jan Vansina , 2018
Type of Doc: Other | Type of Publication: Other

The Other Country / L'autre pays
Authors:  Omar Blondin Diop, Guy Debord, Joseph Mbelolo, Pedro Monaville,, 2018
Type of Doc: Other | Type of Publication: Other

Personne et les autres
Authors: Harry Garuba, Raoul Vaneigem, Pedro Monaville, Katerina Gregos, 2015
Type of Doc: Other | Type of Publication: Other