The Power Plant

Vincent Meessen

Vincent Meessen. Photo by Wali Issa Lee

Courtesy Vincent Meessen, photo by Wali Issa Lee

Vincent Meessen was born in Baltimore, USA, in 1971, and lives and works in Brussels. His artistic work is woven from a constellation of actors, gestures, and signs that maintain a polemical and sensible relation to the writing of history and the westernization of imaginaries. He decenters and multiplies gazes and perspectives to explore the variety of ways in which colonial modernity has impacted the fabric of contemporary subjectivities. Both in his work as an artist and in his para-curatorial activities, he likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives. With ten guest artists, Meessen represented Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.

Meessen presented the following recent solo and collaborative exhibitions: History without a Past, Mu.ZEE, Oostende (with Samson Kambalu), Blues Klair, The Power Plant, Toronto and Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, University of Concordia, Montreal, Ultramarine, 2018; Omar en mai, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris; Sire je suis de l’ôtre pays at WIELS, Brussels, 2016 and the touring duo show Patterns for (Re)cognition at BOZAR, Brussels, 2017; Kunsthalle Basel, 2015 and KIOSK, Ghent, 2013; and Mi última vida, An African Grammar after Roland Barthes at MUAC, Mexico City, 2013-14.

Recent Biennale participations include Though it's dark, still I sing, 34th São Paulo Bienale, 2021;...and other such stories, Chicago Architecture Biennale, 2019; Généalogies futures, Récits depuis l'Equateur, Lubumbashi Biennale, 2019; Proregress, Shanghai Biennale, 2019; Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, 2018 & 2016 (F) and Gestures and Archives of the Present, Genealogies of the Future, Taipei Biennale, 2016.

Vincent Meessen is a founding member of Jubilee-platform for artistic research and production. He regularly takes part in seminars and talks such as recently at HKW, Berlin, 2018; Mucem, Marseille, 2017; MACBA, Barcelona, 2017; Biennale Democrazia, Torino, 2017; Tabakalera, San Sebastian, 2016; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam,2014 and at universities and art schools in Belgium and abroad. Meessen completed his postgraduate studies in 2005 at the HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Antwerp.