The Copy and (Pas) Mon pays at Enough Room for Space

01 march 2020 - 28 august 2021

Location: Sterstraat 10, 1620 Drogenbos (Brussels, BE)

The installation The Copy, together with the film (Pas) Mon Pays, Part I and II are shown at Enough Room for Space. The exhibition will also present archival material in relation to the history of the colonial monument in Mechelen and the proposed new inscription.

In Mechelen, the colonial monument by Lode Eyckermans in the Schuttersvest pays homage to thirty one “pioneers who died for the civilisation in Congo” as it is inscribed on the statue. One of them is Van Kerckhoven, who was a notoriously cruel commander during the reign of king Leopold II of Belgium. The statue is very intriguing, with two stylised Congolese heads, a male and a female, as a Janus image. It aestheticises what is problematically called the African race and thus could be seen as a tribute to it. However, this is in stark contrast to the inscription on the plinth, since the inscriptions only tells one side of the story, the Belgian one. Confronted with this, Michels asked the sculptor Raf Vergauwen to make a scaled-down copy of the monument. She collaborated with a group of Belgian citizens with Congolese roots living in Mechelen and the surrounding area on a proposal for a new inscription for this copy. Involved in this process were Lieven Miguel Kandolo, Anne Wetsi Mpoma, Georgine Dibua, Jessy Ohanu, Michel Witanga, Joël Ndombe, Nadia Nsayi, Rina Rabau, Stella Okemwa, Don Pandzou, Floribert Beloko, Michel Mongambo and Sarah Bekambo. (Read more)

Curator Marjolijn Dijkman

Photos Bie Michels