Opening: Saturday 18.05.2019 // 18:00 - 21:00

As a medical term, aphasia refers to the inability to speak or to find the right words. Jelena Jureša’s new film installation Aphasia consists of three chapters, each focusing on the collective silence surrounding crime and the compartmentalisation of historical events, and tracing the line between Belgian colonialism, Austrian anti-Semitism and the wars in Yugoslavia.

With Aphasia, Jureša not only digs for the roots and preconditions for a state sponsored violence, but also for the reasons why such collective crimes keep being repeated. The film zooms in on objectivisation and dehumanisation processes, among other themes, while at the same time shedding light on the roles played by photography and film.

The media are not shown as mere silent witnesses to a twisted worldview, but as active instruments in preparing and executing different crimes against humanity. However, Aphasia aims to show their positive force as well. When law and politics fail to bring justice and facilitate collective healing, these same media (photography, film, television) can break the silence, and art may lead the way to justice.

Aphasia is a work of art about racism and intolerance, exposing the banality and triviality of evil. The films challenges us to look (literally) more attentively and to question our own individual and collective position. Aphasia is a call, not for punishment or outrage about the crimes committed during colonial times, the Holocaust or the atrocities in Bosnia during the Yugoslavian wars. Rather, it is a call to break the collective silence, and to actually look at the blind spots that seem to have become a fundamental part of our European identity.

Aphasia begins where everything else ends – precisely because the artistic imagination can offer different perspectives, solace and justice.

Aphasia is produced by ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts
Co-produced by Contour - kunstcentrum nona in the context of Contour Biennial 9, KASK School of Arts/HOGENTZagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM)
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)

Within the framework of this production and exhibition, a book with the same title will be published, comprising texts by Branka Benčić, Berber Bevernage and Eline Mestdagh, Jelena Jureša, Barbara Matejčić, Asa Mendelsohn, Rolf Quaghebeur.

Picture: stills from Aphasia (2019). In the photos: Ivana Jozić.

Related events

  • Sun 19.5.2019 - Sun 14.7.2019
    11:00 - 18:00
  • Practical info

    Werfstraat 13 rue du Chantier
    1000 Brussels
    +32 2 229 00 03

    Opening hours: 
    Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 18:00

    NEW: Open late night until 21:00 every first Wednesday of the month.

    Entrance Tickets:
    6 € Individual visitor

    4 € Students, seniors (+60), unemployed

    1,25€ Ticket Article 27

    0 € -18, teacher, ICOM card members, press, IKT members, SUBBACULTCHA members

    NB: The entrance ticket is a personal pass that gives you unlimited access to the exhibition.


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