October 4, 2011 - Evens Arts Prize - Centre Pompidou, Sven Augustijnen
October 4, 2011

Centre Pompidou, Sven Augustijnen

Sven Augustijnen, “Spectres,” 2011.*

Sven Augustijnen

Award Ceremony & Screening of Spectres
Monday 17 October 2011
7–10 PM


Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
Cinema 1 / Cycle Vidéo et Après
Organized by the New Media Department (MNAM/CCI) and the Department of Cultural Development of the Centre Pompidou, in collaboration with the Evens Foundation
In partnership with FIAC

Artist Sven Augustijnen awarded the Evens Arts Prize 2011

The artist Sven Augustijnen has been awarded the Evens Arts Prize. He was selected by an independent jury which chose from a list of 20 internationally acclaimed artists, nominated by representatives of major European art institutions.

A special event dedicated to Sven Augustijnen will take place at the Centre Pompidou, on 17 October 2011, featuring the artist’s new feature film, Spectres (104′). An intriguing journey into the dark regions of the Belgian colonial past, it reveals unresolved conflicts and frictions, still operating in the present, and questions the ambiguous borders between fiction and reality, the manipulative power of discourse and the fabrication of history.

The Evens Arts Prize will be presented by Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou. The screening will be followed by a discussion between Sven Augustijnen, Bernard Blistène, Director of the Department of Cultural Development of the Centre Pompidou, and Dork Zabunyan, writer and co-author of Foucault va au cinéma.

The jury members of the 2011 Evens Arts Prize were: Dorian van der Brempt, deBuren, Brussels; Joana Mytkowska, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Maria Ines Rodriguez, Musac, Leon; Nicolaus Schafhausen, Witte de With, Rotterdam; Marc-Olivier Wahler, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. The president of the jury was Ernest Van Buynder, Evens Foundation Board Member and former Chairman of M HKA in Antwerp.

The prize carries an award of 15,000 EUR and participation in the publication Spectres.


Taking on a multiplicity of media (films, photographs, installations, publications), Sven Augustijnen’s works address the ambiguity of documentary observation, and explore a territory where the borders between fiction and documentary blur, discourses collide, and historical references overlap with historical gossip.

In Augustijnen’s work, the traditional codes of documentary practice seem to be both expanded and undermined. Discourse, as a vehicle for embodied social memory and symbolic experience, plays a key role in his practice, where the predominant figure of the guide (narrator of a story, interlocutor of a community) manifests the importance of mediation in the production and activation of a territory’s identity. Fictions, rumors, personal comments are all inseparable from these forms of living memory. Led by each character’s verbal performance, Augustijnen’s films emphasize the plasticity of the narratives through which reality is collectively constructed, described and shared. His pieces thus present a surreal, often humorous, aspect of those games of influence, manipulation and power in which the characters seem to be trapped.

In Sven Augustijnen’s explorations of the Belgian past or recent European records, this mutual permeability of history and fiction is seen as a platform for a re-elaboration of the present. Proceeding through association and juxtaposition of fragments, his research reveals historical urgencies and questions the narratives underlying current political and social practices. The oscillation between hazy zones of history and the secret spaces of everyday life appears, thus, as a constant feature in Augustijnen’s art that manages to tie in widely divergent realities, and place the spectator at the center of a multitude of perspectives.

Sven Augustijnen lives and works in Brussels. He is represented by the Galerie Jan Mot. Exhibitions and screenings include Tate Modern, Witte de With, Kunsthalle Basel, M HKA, Bozar, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Museo Reina Sofia, Documenta Magazines/ Documenta 12. In 2011, solo shows take place at Wiels Brussels, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Kunsthalle Bern and De Appel Amsterdam. A special screening will be held at the Tate Modern, on 22 November.

The Evens Arts Prize supports artistic initiatives that help us rethink contemporary European realities and envision new perspectives for shaping our common world.

Tris Vonna Michell – Katerina Šedá – Roman Ondak – Rosa Barba – Joachim Koester – Ellen Gallagher – Duncan Campbell – Société Réaliste – Zarina Bhimji – Keren Cytter – Sven Augustijnen – Bert Theis – Sven ‘t Jolle – Anna Rispoli – Ján Mančuška – Kris Martin – Seamus Farrell – Marcel van Eeden – Annie Vigier & Franck Apertet / les gens d’Uterpan – Achim Reichert & Marco Fiedler / Vier5

Pierre Bal-Blanc, CAC, Bretigny – Tanya Barson, Tate Modern – Andrea Bellini, Castello di Rivoli, Turin – Stephan Berg, Kunstmuseum, Bonn – Ann Demeester, De Appel, Amsterdam – Jacob Fabricius, Malmo Konsthall – Enrico Lunghi, Mudam, Luxembourg – Jaroslaw Suchan, Art Museum, Lodz – Dirk Snauwaert, Wiels, Brussels – Lynne Cooke, Museo Reina Sofia

The Evens Foundation is a European public benefit foundation based in Antwerp, with offices in Warsaw and Paris. It develops projects in the fields of media, peace education and European citizenship that seek to reinforce social and cultural cohesion among citizens of the European Union.


*Image above:
© Sven Augustijnen.
Courtesy: Jan Mot, Brussels.

Centre Pompidou, Sven Augustijnen
Evens Arts Prize
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