Patterns for (Re)cognition I


Vincent Meessen & Tshiela Ntendu


The duo exhibition Patterns for (Re)cognition, showed in KIOSK Ghent and afterwards in Kunsthalle Basel, contains works by Belgian artist Vincent Meessen (1971, Baltimore, US) and Congolese artist Tshiela Ntendu (ca. 1890 – ca. 1950, Congo). The exhibition makes unexpected connections between the various uses of abstraction in psychology, art and design.
During his research on colonial psychology, Vincent Meessen was intrigued by the relation between the formal abstraction of certain cognitive tests and Western geometrical abstract art. By displaying a curated section of abstract paintings from the late 1920s by one of the two so-called first modern Congolese artists, the pioneer Tshiela Ntendu (aka Thela Tendu aka Djilatendo,...), Meessen proposes a ‘constructivist scenario’ that problematises the Western narrative of abstraction in regard to so-called primitive ornament.

The title, Patterns for (Re)cognition, refers to the jargon of cognitive psychology, and in particular to the tests designed to measure the capacity of our brain for abstraction and memory; mental operations that are based on recognition and identification of recurrent impulses (signs, sounds, forms, patterns, letters, faces,… )

Exhibition display in collaboration with Kris Kimpe

Curator KIOSK : Wim Waelput