Lumières de Roland Barthes

My Last Life by Vincent Meessen
at FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France
and Lunettes noires et chambre claire at
Centre d’art Image/Imatge, Orthez, France
21/05 – 29/08/2015


Lumières de Roland Barthes
The program Lumières de Roland Barthes is a double exhibition project taking place at art centre Image/Imatge in Orthez, France and Frac Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France as part of the national celebration of the centenary of the birth of Roland Barthes. The project is an invitation to discover, works in the Frac Aquitaine collection, critical remains of one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century.

My Last Life, a solo presentation by Vincent Meessen, is part of this exhibition program and will be presented in the Frac Aquitaine Gallery from the 21st of May.

At the same time, the Frac Aquitaince will present the group exhibition L’écrivain en vacances: sur la plage with work by Pascal Convert, Maitetxu Etcheverria, Bernard Faucon, Aurélien Froment, Vincent Ganivet, Ann Veronica Janssens, William Klein, Laurent Kropf, Richard Long, Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Pierre Mercier, Claude Nori, John Pfahl, Viviane Prost, Denis Roche, Josef Strau, Tatiana Trouvé and Heimo Zobernig.

Image/Imatge in Orthez will present the group show Lunettes noires & chamber claire.
For more information about the program, see Affiche_Lumieres_Roland_Barthes_exposition.


My Last Life
The solo exhibition has been presented in various institutions between 2011-2015. As its starting point, the exhibition uses the cover of Paris Match, issue 326, published in 1955, which depicts a colonial cadet performing a military salute. Roland Barthes famously wrote about this cover in his Mythologies, published in the late fifties. Vincent Meessen borrows the French thinker’s open ended thread and speculates on the possible reasons that motivated Barthes to choose that particular picture. Meessen uses codes both from realism and narrative storytelling in order to construct a case study on the haunting mythography of colonial modernity.

Thanks to a poetic and critical rereading of some of Barthes texts, Meessen is also able to emphasise their conceptual and formal scope. Mediated by the artworks (video, text, sculpture, photographs, documents) “Herbé” and the visitors are included in this speculative narrative, escaping the restrictions of truth that are imposed by the format of critical discourse.

Works included in this iteration of My Last Life are Vita Nova (2009), Cameo (2011), Forgery (2011), Fac Dissimile (2009) and Third Form (2011).


Third Form, new publication 
On the occasion of this exhibition, the publication Third Form is presented.
Third Form is a monography on the research and exhibition project My Last Life, with contributions by T. J. Demos, Peter J. Bloom, Cuauhtemoc Medina and an extended dialogue between Vincent Meessen and Olivier Marboeuf.
Publisher: Mousse, Milano / Design: Speculoos, Brussels



More information about Third Form.

More information on My Last Life.