In and Out of Brussels

Figuring Postcolonial Africa and Europe in the Films of Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Renzo Martens, and Els Opsomer

T.J. Demos (Editor), Hilde Van Gelder (Editor),

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 14

Category: Art, Media and Visual Culture, Photography, Postcolonial Studies, Urban Studies

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058679192

Publication date: November 15, 2012

€29.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Size: 230 x 170 x mm

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

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Outcome of the multifaceted project In and Out of Brussels – book & DVD.

‘In and Out of Brussels’ examines four Brussels-based artistic projects that converge in critically investigating the figuration of Africa in the image economy of the West: Herman Asselberghs’s Speech Act (2011), Sven Augustijnen’s Spectres (2011), Renzo Martens’s Episode III – Enjoy Poverty (2008) and Els Opsomer’s Building Stories: That Distant Piece of Mine (2012). While each is a singular film, together they reveal Africa’s postcolonial imaginary to be a zone of crisis, situated between humanitarian emergency, financial pillage, and the politics of memory on the one hand, and the fictional – but nonetheless consequential – construction of European identity on the other. Just as dominant neocolonial narratives (which all too often cover over movements for independence and social justice) are critically played out and contested in these works, so too are documentary conventions creatively reinvented by Asselberghs, Augustijnen, Martens, and Opsomer. The resulting moving images emerge as a complex site of postcolonial haunting, self-reflexive performativity, researched analysis, archival reordering, and post-documentary cinematic affect. This book represents the outcome of an interdisciplinary and international research project, that gathered theoreticians, art critics, curators, and artists over a two-year period (2010-2012). The conversations collected and reprinted here look closely at the four films and examine their political, aesthetic, and historical implications.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder

T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder

Part 1 Renzo Martens, Episode III (Enjoy Poverty), 2009
1 Introduction to Episode III (Enjoy Poverty)
Renzo Martens

2 Roundtable One: A discussion of Renzo Martens’s Episode III (Enjoy Poverty)
Carles Guerra, Thomas Keenan, Toma Muteba Luntumbue, Renzo Martens, moderated by T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder

Part 2 Sven Augustijnen, Spectres, 2011
3 Introduction to Spectres
Sven Augustijnen

4 Roundtable Two: A discussion of Sven Augustijnen’s Spectres
Sven Augustijnen, Filip De Boeck, Dirk Snauwaert, Françoise Vergès, moderated by T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder

Part 3 Herman Asselberghs, Speech Act, 2011 5 Introduction to Speech Act
Herman Asselberghs

6 Roundtable Three: A discussion of Herman Asselberghs’s Speech Act
Herman Asselberghs, Manon de Boer, Sven Lütticken, moderated by T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder

Part 4 Els Opsomer, Building Stories #001 [That Distant Piece of Mine], 2012
7 Introduction to Building Stories #001 [That Distant Piece of Mine]
Els Opsomer

8 Roundtable Four: A discussion of Els Opsomer’s Building Stories #001 [That Distant Piece of Mine]
T.J. Demos, Els Opsomer, and Hilde Van Gelder


Notes on the Participants

T.J. Demos

Hilde Van GelderORCID icon

Hilde Van Gelder is professor of contemporary art history at KU Leuven. She is director of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture.

In and Out of Brussels is een actuele bijdrage aan een decennialange discussie over de westerse
beeldvorming rond Afrika. Het boek drukt een geloof uit in geëngageerde kunst die voor constructieve
conflicten kan zorgen. Het voert de dialoogvorm op als essentieel bestanddeel van een kritische
ruimte waarbinnen filmmaker, gefilmd subject en kijker zich actief tot elkaar verhouden.
CINEMAGIE 282 (LENTE 2013), Bjorn Gabriels

Het mooi uitgegeven boekje gaat vergezeld van een dvd en daar draait dit project eigenlijk om. De dvd bevat representatieve fragmenten van vier films van hoger genoemde cineasten (en de complete film van Herman
Asselberghs). In die vier films proberen de vier Brusselse cineasten beelden van of omtrent Afrika te draaien en/of erover te reflecteren. Het boekje zelf bestaat uit een inleiding en het verslag van vier discussies over de betrokken films.

Marc Holthof, etcetera, jaargang 31, nr 134, september 2013

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