Maarten Vanden Eynde

'Ils ont partagé le monde' (‘They Divided the World’) consists of nine paintings produced in collaboration with the Congolese artist Musasa. Depicted in them are the most important raw materials that make up the foundation of the world as we know it. For each pivotal material, drawings, pictographs and symbols form a rebus, or a summary of its origin, use and influence. The nine wedge-shaped panels allude to the wheels of fortune and progress and the distribution of economic and natural riches. The wedges move forward like the hour hand on a clock, making an analogy between the striking coinciding events of the division of physical space (the Berlin Conference; the parcelling out of Africa, 1884-1885) and time (the International Meridian Conference: the determination of a prime meridian for international use, 1884).

The title, 'Ils ont partagé le monde', comes from the song 'Plus rien ne m’étonne' by Tiken Jah Fakoly.