Event date: Saturday 18 May 2019, 18:00 – 21:00
Location: Argos, Werfstraat 13, 1000 Brussels
Aphasia consists of three chapters, each focusing on the absurdity arising from the collective silence surrounding crime and the compartmentalization of historical events, tracing the line between Belgian colonialism, Austrian antisemitism and the war in Yugoslavia. The film borrows the term ‘aphasia’ not exclusively from medical vocabulary—where it refers to trouble finding words or losing the ability to speak—but also from the writing of scholar Ann L. Stoler, who coined the term ‘colonial aphasia’, referring to the occlusion of knowledge in addition to collective amnesia, and the difficulty of generating a vocabulary that associates appropriate words, or concepts with appropriate things. Through the tree acts the video installation navigates the viewer to stumble upon the fact that we perceive historical events as compartmentalized and distant, without perceiving their rhizome-like structure.
Like the bullet from the FN Herstal 1910 pistol that became emblematic of the WWI, and connected Bosnia, Serbia, Austria and Belgium in their seemingly disparate fates, the exhibition brings together compartmentalized historical events, through the history of racism and eugenics, focusing on the blind spots of history and the difficulty of speaking about the troubled past. The film charts the line starting with museum dioramas through photography to film, and sees them as deeply interwoven with imperialism and colonialism, used in order to produce a template for the blooming science of biological or physical anthropology.
Produced by Argos, Centre for Art and Media, Brussels
Co-produced by: Contour-kunstcentrum nona, Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM)
Supported by: Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and KASK School of Arts/HOGENT
For more information, see: https://bit.ly/2TZwheH