Our Fluid Territories

18, 19, 20 June 2022

Meyboom Artist-run Spaces, ground floor

Boulevard Pachécolaan 34, 1000 Brussels

Three evening programmes featuring the work of Dóra Benyó, Mladen Bundalo, Oleg Danilov & Mathieu Hendrickx, Nikolay Karabinovych, Naïmé Perrette, Ingel Vaikla, and Jesse van Winden. During daytime, they present an exhibition and a film programme.

Our Fluid Territories brings together the work of 8 artists with a background of migration but at home in Brussels. The venue is an off space whose housing, a former bank office from 1992, doubles as a materialisation of the marginalised capitalism that haunts some of the practices on view.

A film programme features works by Eric Baudelaire, Justin Bennett, Milena Bonilla, Alina Cristea, Ken Kobland, Ulrike Knorr, Vladimir Perovic, Rune Peitersen & Mikica Andrejic, Meggy Rustamova, Anri Sala, Shelly Silver, and Ingel Vaikla. Each film is screened every day. A timetable can be found under Programme

Thirty years ago in Central and Eastern Europe, the transition of socialism to capitalism entered its conclusive stage. The overthrow by the invisible hand was acute and all-transformative, dislodging people’s lives and realities. Over the years that followed, their histories have been reprogrammed along with new national narratives. Personal, family and collective memories are repressed and forced to live on in the registers of nostalgia or as shadows of the built environment.

The future approaches Achilles and the tortoise along different ways and at different paces that remain difficult to get grips with. We all have all kinds of ‘territories’ with which we have affinity, to which we somehow ‘belong’ a little bit or that affect us to an extent even if we have never lived there nor have any political or formal identity relationship with them. Overcoming the strict delineation of political geographies, we are reminded of the artificial nature and citizenship. To cite the Ukrainian film director Sergei Losnitza: “We must not judge people based on their passports. We can judge them on their acts.” As time reveals itself as non-linear, borders are felt as impenetrable watershed divisions, as well as almost imaginary for many holders of the right documents. At the same time, borders and identities can function like time machines, oil spills, loopholes…

Our Fluid Territories is a constellation of artistic research projects with short films among their exponents. All are created before the war in Ukraine further deepened the historical rift between Russia and the rest of Europe. Past and present urgencies of censorship, repression of political opposition, the right to self-determination but also western appropriation require us to ask questions as to how we want to understand (artistic) hegemonies, imperialisms and freedoms from now on.

Rather than thematizing the current local and geopolitical news or confronting them heads-on, Our Fluid Territories proposes overlapping film projections, installations, performances and two-dimensional works dealing with uprooting and rerouting – in whose interstices dialogues can unfold among everyone present. The discontinuity between the geopolitical reality at the time the projects were realized and the present world disorder may resonate with the works’ themes and motives of spatial and temporal delocalization, which seem all the more relevant and can be reconsidered through our knowledges of today.

An exhibition co-curated by all artists involved. Initiative and text by Jesse van Winden.

Support: VGC, Jubilee platform for artistic research, Argos centre for audiovisual arts, KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Hectolitre, AJC, CVB

Visitors are invited to donate to Artists at Risk, an organisation that helps to assist, relocate and fund artists who are at risk of persecution, oppression or fleeing war or terror.

Photo: Boulevard Pachécolaan, Brussels. Congress Station and Meyboom building on the right. 1980. Credit: Patrimoine.Brussels