With The Recognition Machine Antje Van Wichelen translates her years of research into photographic archives from the colonial era into an artistic-political installation.
The machine refers to an ordinary Photomaton but uses the photograph of the spectator as the starting point for a search through the archives that Van Wichelen collected and edited.
Contemporary algorithms link the pixels of the new photograph to an anthropometric photograph of someone from the nineteenth century. The installation confronts the viewer with the uncomfortable reality of Europe’s violent colonial past but is also an invitation to actively search for the historical context of the image, and to report on that both factual and personal search.
By: Antje Van Wichelen & SICV (Michael Murtaugh & Nicolas Malevé) — Assistance: Brenda Bikoko — Based on the archives of: Wereldculturen (NL), Tropisch Instituut (BE), Pitt Rivers Museum (UK), Quai Branly (FR), Rautenstrauch Joest Museum / Kulturen der Welt Köln (DE), KMMA (BE) — Co-production: nadine, workspacebrussels — Supported by: Constant vzw, LaboBXL, the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), Maite Morren & the Community of Elsene