Third Form (Prospectus vol. 1)

A publication by Vincent Meessen

The publication Third Form is a monography on My Last Life, an exhibition project by Vincent Meessen including his film Vita Nova that has received international critical acclaim and continues to travel. The publication was launched on the occasion of Vincent Meessen’s solo presentation of  My Last Life at FRAC Aquitaine in Bordeaux from May 22 to August 31, 2015. The exhibition took place in the framework of Lumières de Barthes, an exhibition project celebrating the centenary of Roland Barthes’s birth.

My Last Life
The solo exhibition My Last Life by Vincent Meessen 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.

Contributing authors to the publication are:
Peter Bloom
T.J. Demos
Olivier Marboeuf
Cuauhtémoc Medina
Vincent Meessen

Graphic design: Speculoos (Pierre Huyghebaert and Delphine Platteeuw)
Photography: Normal, We Document Art

Published by: Mousse Publishing
with the support of Cera Partners in Art
Printing: Cassochrome (Waregem)

English/French/Spanish, 79 pages, colour, paperback, 2015

ISBN 978-88-6749-173-5
Price: 25 Euro + shipping costs

To order a copy, please contact Jubilee via


Press Release Frac Aquitaine (in French).

Presentations to date:

My Last life, a solo exhibition at NETWERK / center for contemporary art, Aalst (2011)

This is not only French Theory, screening and artist talk at the Brussels Academy of Fine Art (ArBA)(2016)

Lumières de Roland Barthes, a double exhibition project at Centre d’Art Image/Imatge in Orthez (France) and Frac Aquitaine in Bordeaux (2015)