Vincent Meesen: Other Country / l’Autre Pays

This book is the fourth volume in Vincent Meessen’s publication series Prospectus and published following the artist’s solo exhibitions ‘Sire, je suis de l’├┤tre pays’ at WIELS, Brussels, in 2016, and ‘Omar en mai’ at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2018. The book is structured around the four major installations that made up these shows, and are placed in parallel with newly commissioned essays by scholars Pedro Monaville, Stefano Collicelli Cagol, and Ruth Baumeister, and a conversation between Tom McDonough and Vincent Meessen.

At the heart of these contributions are the untold histories and unexpected topicality of the Situationist International, modernity’s last international avant-garde, which reconsidered so radically the relationships between art, politics, and everyday life. Previously unpublished texts and reprints by Guy Debord, Lungela Diangani, and Omar Blondin Diop explore the Situationist International’s influence in sub-Saharan African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal.

Installation views of the exhibitions show furthermore how Meessen uses original documents in order to re-evaluate their political potential in the present. As such, the book generously reflects on the artist’s discursive, collaborative, and para-curatorial activity of the past four years.