Switzerland - Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen - Sven Augustijnen - Spectres25/08/2011
13 August - 9 October 2011
Is it possible to reconstruct history as an objective entity? Or is this prevented by deficient memory, human narcissism and the will to manipulate? Does objectivity remain merely an ethical wish?
These are the central questions in the exhibition of the Brussels-based artist Sven Augustijnen (*1970) and his unusual film essay Spectres. As documentary, portrait and thriller at the same time it never takes up a position but allows various voices to speak and mixes journalism, politics and history. Augustijnen's conceptual starting point is Karl Marx's stay in Brussels while writing The Communist Manifesto and its effects on the crown prince (later Leopold II), who annexed the Congo one year after Marx's death. The Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is pleased to present this film, produced with other European institutions – both on its own premises as well as in the cinema in the Lokremise (Kinok).
With Sven Augustijnen's exhibition and his interest in colonialism and its consequences the Kunst Halle wants to make a small contribution to the visibility of the postcolonial discourse and thereby also to a critical analysis of Europe's economic system.
Spectres was produced in cooperation with the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels and de Appel in Amsterdam. The film is on show until the end of July in Wiels and will be presented in October at Kunsthalle Bern and from November to January in Amsterdam. It has already received several prizes including at the 22nd Festival international du documentaire de Marseille.
Image: Film still Spectres, 2011, Courtesy Jan Mot, Brussels