VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

Sven Augustijnen

Sven Augustijnen (b. 1970, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Hoger Sint-Lukas Instituut in Brussels, and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work focuses on the tradition of portraiture and the fluid boundaries between fiction and reality. Taking on a multiplicity of media (films, photographs, installations, publications), his practice addresses the ambiguity of documentary observation. He effects collisions of discourses and overlaps historical references with historical gossip. Discourse, as a vehicle for embodied social memory and symbolic experience, plays a key role in Augustijnen’s works, in which the predominant figure of the guide (as narrator of a story or interlocutor of a community) manifests the importance of mediation in the production and activation of a given territory’s identity. Fictions, rumours, personal comments and vague remarks are all inseparable from these forms of living memory. Led by each character’s verbal performance, his films emphasize the plasticity of the narratives through which reality is collectively constructed, described and shared.

Augustijnen’s feature-length films include Spectres (2011), Une femme entreprenante (2005), Le guide du parc (2001), and L’école des pickpockets (2000). Recently, his work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2012); WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Belgium (2011); de Appel arts centre, Netherlands (2011); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2011); and Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2011). Exhibitions and screenings have been held at the Tate Modern, London (2011); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Basel Kunsthalle (2009); MuHKA, Antwerp (2010); Bozar, Brussels (2009); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2009); Documenta 12, Kassel (2007); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004). Sven Augustijnen is also the recipient of the Fernand Baudin Prize (2012) for his publication Spectres and was awarded the Evens Prize for Visual Arts (2011). He is represented by Jan Mot, Brussels.