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28 March 2024

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquires film by Kevin Osepa

On Tuesday, 26 March, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen officially took receipt of the film La Última Ascensión (The Last Ascent, 2022) by Kevin Osepa (Willemstad, Curaçao, 1994). The transfer took place in the presence of the artist, his film producer Danielle Guirguis of Smarthouse Films, the museum’s director Ina Klaassen, director of collections and research Sandra Kisters, and curator of historical design Alexandra van Dongen.

The museum has recently acquired La Última Ascensión (24 minutes) for its film and video collection. It was shown at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen for six months from 2022 to 2023, after which it was purchased from an edition of five. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will remain the only museum in the Netherlands to own a copy of the film. Shot in Curaçao, it follows the fisherman Rowin as he encounters a mysterious indigenous man called Shi in a Magic Realist work that focuses on pre- and post-colonial indigenous and Afro-Caribbean identities.

Different eyes

The museum has acquired the work because it is an excellent addition to the film and video collection. Curator Alexandra van Dongen, who was closely involved in the acquisition, says: ‘Osepa’s work is a wonderful complement to films in the collection by Steve McQueen, Bas Jan Ader and Guido van der Werve, among others. It was shown at the Depot in the context of our ongoing research project Unpacking Boijmans, in which we examine traces of colonial history in works in the museum’s collection. In his film, Osepa not only interweaves aspects of Curaçao’s colonial past but also themes such as sexuality, identity and rebirth. He makes us look at the past and the present with different eyes.’

Kevin Osepa was born in Curaçao in 1994. He won a Golden Calf for La Última Ascensión at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2022. In 2018, he was the youngest nominee to date for the Volkskrant Visual Arts Prize. He was awarded the Charlotte Köhler Prize in 2023.