It Looks Like Art: Institutions, Academia, and Publicly Funded Art under Late Capitalism

We need to make arts funding functional for the production of art, not just for repeating agreed social truths within an echo chamber.

Courtesy: the artist  
Brushing History against the Grain: Samson Kambalu and Vincent Meessen

The exhibition History Without A Past, currently on view at Mu.ZEE, Ostend, features recent work by Samson Kambalu and Vincent Meessen. Of all the currents of ideas revealed by 1968, the Situationist International (1957–72) is probably the most enduring. Situationism was conceived by its adherents led by Guy Debord as a response to the failures of both the Marxists and the artistic avant-gardes, from Dada to the Lettrists. Since its self-dissolution in 1972, it has nurtured several generations of activists, intellectuals, and artists who have drawn on its texts to radically criticize what makes modernity in our societies: subversion in art, from Dada to Happenings; the conceptions of the city inherited from Le Corbusier; consumerism of material goods and leisure; the system of media representation. In this conversation, the artists give detailed accounts of the narratives and constellations operative in their work, sharing radical perspectives on the historical and contemporary ramifications of the SI International toward Africa and the West. Meessen and Kambalu expand on art and cinema as a socialized and politicized praxis, laying the ground for internationalist forms and alliances in the present.

Courtesy: the artist. Photo: Steven Decroos, Mu.ZEE