PRINT December 2012

Willem de Rooij

Sven Augustijnen, Spectres, 2011, HD video, color, sound, 103 minutes.

1 Sven Augustijnen, Spectres (Kunsthalle Bern) Spectres is a 103-minute documentary examining the decolonization of the Belgian Congo and the assassination of its first democratically elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. Augustijnen ruthlessly deconstructs the role of the Belgian government in both events, as well as its subsequent attempts to erase past embarrassments. Seemingly casual camerawork and editing make for an impactful aesthetic experience: Much of this powerful work’s significance lies in its formal execution. But Augustijnen’s stance on colonial history is just as remarkable: Devoid of sentiment or politically correct conventions, it is light and at times humorous, but never cynical.

2 Angela Bulloch (Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam) For “Short Big Drama,” Nicolaus Schafhausen’s last exhibition as director of Witte de With (curated in

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