Daniela Ortiz will present a series of sketches and proposals for replacing the Saint Rumbold's stained glass window that honours Leopold III. From a decolonial and antiracist perspective, and in relation to the notions of justice put forward in her movie “The Empire of Law”, the series of sketches will distance itself from critiques of the church, made from secular, Eurocentric, leftwing perspectives. The installation will put forward a series of images that understand spirituality related to the Latin American Theology of Liberation, justice away from its Eurocentric assertions and the need for visual revindication of diverse anti-colonial resistances.
Consecrated in 1312, Mechelen Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Rumbold, features Gothic architecture and several stained glass windows portraying various figures in the Catholic Church, rituals and passages from the Bible. Within these narratives, one finds an image of King Leopold III on his knees next to his wife, receiving the blessing of a priest. Portrayed as a sovereign in uniform, with all the symbols that reinforce the idea of a civilized European leader, the king is represented with the characteristic politeness of imperial power, in an image that makes his role in the violent colonial regime imposed on Congolese territory invisible.
coproduced by Netwerk Aalst, Kadist. With special thanks to Servais Family Collection.