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The Other Country / L’Autre Pays
This bilingual book was published following Vincent Meessen’s solo exhibitions Sire, je suis de l’ôtre pays at WIELS, Brussels (2016) and Omar en mai at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018). The fourth volume in the artist’s publication series Prospectus, it is structured around four major installations that made up these shows (One.Two.Three, SIISIS, Wild Architect, and Cinéma Omarx), which are placed in parallel with newly commissioned essays by scholars Pedro Monaville, Stefano Collicelli Cagol and Ruth Baumeister, and an in-depth 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 Previously unpublished texts and reprints by Guy Debord, Lungela Diangani and Omar Blondin Diop explore in particular the Situationist International’s influence in black African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.