Sven Augustijnen | the artist
The artist Sven Augustijnen
Born 1970, Rijmenam, Belgium.
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In Spectres the main thread of the story is constructed in the form of a voyage, a typical Augustijnen method. The main character is Jacques Brassinne de La Buissière, a former high-ranking civil servant and protagonist in the political and humanitarian 'thriller' that unfurled after the hasty decolonisation decision, the transfer of power and the subsequent conflicts, up to and including the imprisonment and execution of Patrice Lumumba on 17 January 1961. He acts simultaneously as guide, commentator and symbolic figure, and we follow him through many crucial historical sites and symbolical moments. In the course of these peregrinations, questions arise about the manifest and hidden motivations behind the historic events of a still largely unresolved past, issues that continue to haunt past and present. These events have shaped a relationship fraught with difficulties between Congo and its old colonial power, recently expressed during a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the responsibility for the assassination and on the occasion of the commemorations marking the transfer of power, as well as in the intentions of Lumumba's immediate family to bring proceedings against those involved where they are still alive…
Sven Augustijnen (°1970 in Mechelen) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Hoger Sint-Lukas Instituut in Brussels, and at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work concentrates mainly on the tradition of portraiture and the porous boundaries between fiction and reality, using a hybrid of genres and techniques to disorienting effect…
Sometimes we struggle to find the right words. Theres an itch on the tongue, maybe you wave your hands in the air, trying to physically pull the language out. Sometimes I catch myself gesticulating in front of my computer, hands furiously grappling with the thin air dividing me from a multi-syllabic outburst…