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Congo VR exhibition

A few months back, the Bordalo Pinheiro Museum was hosting the Unfolding the Past – The Panorama of Congo in Virtual Reality exhibition, organised by the CONGO-VR research project. The exposition showcased an investigation into an expansive colonial-era painting about the Belgian Congo in 1913 by Paul Mathieu and Alfred Bastien, commissioned in 1911 for the Ghent International Exhibition. Initially meant to serve as pro-colonial propaganda shortly after the controversial era of the Congo Free State, the artwork was in obscurity for nearly a century. With deep ties to colonial propaganda, it's now viewed as sensitive heritage. The CONGO-VR project endeavors to both preserve and critically analyse this piece through photography and virtual reality. The current exhibition delved into the project's different stages, including historical research, photographic documentation, and a virtual reality reimagining which will soon serve as a stage for interventions by artists from the Congolese diaspora.

  • published 16 November 2023
  • modified 16 November 2023