«Omar is dead!», a voice cried out in Dakar, 11 May 1973. The eldest of the Blondin Diop family, a young militant philosopher, and the articulate Maoist in Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise had allegedly committed suicide in his Gorée Island prison cell. His family and friends did not believe a word of it, demanding that light be shed on this political crime. A phantom haunts the Senegalese capital, itself in a state of unrest.
"Juste un Mouvement" is a free take on La Chinoise, a Jean-Luc Godard movie shot in 1967 in Paris. Reallocating its roles and characters fifty years later in Dakar, and updating its plot, this new version offers a meditation on the relationship between politics, justice and memory. Although not anymore alive, Omar Blondin Diop, the only actual Maoist student in the original movie, now becomes the key character. Shot exclusively with non-professional actors and including Omar Blondin Diop’s brothers and friends, everyone in this film performs themselves: a filmmaker, a rapper, a poet, a Chinese worker, a Shaolin master, a Senegalese intellectual, the Minister of Culture of Senegal and the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China.
03/2021 : Berlinale (Forum) - Première mondiale
Vincent Meessen was born in Baltimore, USA, in 1971, and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. His artistic and filmic work are woven from a constellation of figures, 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 filmmaker, he likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives.
His films have been screened at numerous museums and art centers including Centre Pompidou (Paris), HKW (Berlin), MUMOK (Vienna), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), in film festivals including IFFR (Rotterdam), IDFA (Amsterdam), Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Art of the Real (New York, Seoul), FID (Marseille) and FESPACO (Ouagadougou).
Solo exhibitions have taken place in Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Basel, Brussels, Mexico, Amsterdam. Vincent Meessen has represented Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale with Personne et les autres, a group show with ten invited artists from four continents. Recent other biennale participations include… and other such stories, Chicago Architecture Biennial, (2019); Généalogies futures, récits depuis l’Équateur, Biennale de Lubumbashi (2019); Proregress, 12th Shanghai Biennale (2018-2019); Printemps de septembre, Toulouse (2016, 2018) and Gestures and Archives of the Present, Genealogies of the Future, Taipei Biennale (2016). Vincent Meessen is a member of Jubilee-platform for research and artistic production.