Following up on his meticulous dissection of the Apple laptop (in Dear Steve), Herman Asselberghs now turns his attention to another global popular consumer product: Avatar, the most expensive and highest-grossing film ever. By way of an elaborated interior monologue taking on the form of a film studies class, Speech Act covers a complex of themes well beyond cinema concerns. As the acme of mainstream culture, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic turns out to provide ample fodder for a critique of triumphant transparency, impressively delivered by the established Brussels actor Willy Thomas. Commissioned within the context of the book project In and Out of Brussels: Figuring Postcolonial Africa and Europe, Asselberghs’ work eloquently talks about all things black.
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