Vincent Meessen‘s Ultramarine is part of the Sonic Acts Academy programme of 2020 and will be screened at De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam.
21 – 23/02/2020
De Brakke Grond
1012 KD Amsterdam
Ultramarine, featuring African-American poet and hip-hop precursor Kain The Poet, offers a chromatic, historical and discursive filter for the story of its central figure. In considering the exile of the Black Arts Movement member to Amsterdam in the 1980s, Meessen’s video portrays museological objects in relation to Kain’s own belongings, while Kain delivers a radical spoken word performance accompanied by an improvisation by the Belgian percussionist Lander Gyselinck.
Ultramarine, referring to a deep blue pigment but also to overseas regions, is a visual poem constructed from locally chosen historical objects and a sort of a ‘narrated exhibition’. This format creates the possibility of connecting Kain’s radical poetry to a larger frame of investigation: museum objects and artworks from very different origins, all stored in Toulouse museums and in collections of the Occitan region. Museum objects calling up colonialism – funeral figurines, world maps, textiles – are juxtaposed with Kain’s own props intoning his exile to Amsterdam in the 1980s. Disrupting the Eurocentric written logic of historiography as well as that of museum classifications, Ultramarine sets a constellation of objects moving and acting, enabling them to perform their possible agency.
More information on the website of Sonic Acts Academy