You have no items in your shopping cart.



exhibition tips

The Absent Museum - at Wiels, Brussels

WIELS' The Absent Museum is a temporary exhibition that explores what a museum’s role today could be. Despite the fact that museums – especially those devoted to contemporary art – have never been so popular, they remain notably absent from public debate on most key current issues. In Brussels, as in many metropolitan areas, discussions around the creation of a new museum focus on a building or a collection, but avoid the fundamental question: what is to be done? What content or knowledge should a museum transmit?

 

Although WIELS does not have the status of a museum, it is commonly referred to as ‘the WIELS museum’. Over the past decade, WIELS has established a reputation for its critically engaged programme. To mark its 10th anniversary, WIELS proposes a substantive framework – or blueprint – for a possible museum of contemporary art in the capital of Europe. In this speculative exhibition, existing works and new productions by contemporary and historical artists interpret the challenges that museums face today: Which issues should a museum propel into the realm of careful consideration? Which absences or lacunae in museum collections should be redressed? Which new or parallel histories should be told? Whose identities should be represented, shaped, or confirmed?

 

The Absent Museum is both a look backwards at the journey that WIELS has made so far and a projection of its future development. As such, it includes several contributions by artists who have previously exhibited at WIELS while also setting forth certain directions for the future. In their choice of artists, the curators have focused on those leading discourse, drawing from the wealth of artists in the wider region, from Amsterdam to Paris, from Cologne and Düsseldorf to London, with Brussels at the crossroads.

 

This exhibition of works by 47 artists is held throughout three landmark buildings of the former Wielemans brewery site: WIELS, BRASS and Métropole. In addition to making the most of the three very different architectures and atmospheres of its three venues, The Absent Museum is structured around two complementary curatorial approaches.

 

The works on the 2nd floor of WIELS root the project in the specific art-historical and social context of Brussels and of Belgium, looking at how controversial, repressed and forgotten issues are absent from mainstream museum collections and narratives. These absences are revelatory of the gaps or blind spots in the collective consciousness of the country, sometimes due to wishful amnesia, other times due to a lack of shared information. This section is titled The Absent [Museum] where the emphasis is on absences within museum collections in opposition to the presence of the issues in public debate and opinion.

 

The other spaces of the exhibition fall under the title of The [Absent] Museum, where the works offer a blueprint or suggestion for the type of art practice that could define the art-historical program of a future museum of contemporary art in Brussels. This takes into consideration the current position and situation of Brussels, as the de facto capital of the European Union and the headquarters of NATO, with a largely multi-cultural and multilingual population that links the city intimately to global dynamics. This blueprint for a future museum marks a shift from the former transmission of narratives of nation building by art museums in the past. The included works also bear witness to the range of issues that cultural institutions such as museums should be examining – and thus opening up for debate – should they continue to play a central role in the formation of public opinion and sensibilities. Many artists selected – such as Jo Baer, Nil Yalter, Ellen Gallagher, stanley brouwn, Christopher Williams, Goshka Macuga, Oscar Murillo, Otobong Nkanga, Jimmie Durham, among others – are discourse producers and leading diasporic voices based in the wider Benelux region.

 

Thomas Hirschhorn_The Absent Museum_highres_001

 

Jana Ueler_The Absent Museum_highres_001

 

Jana Ueler_The Absent Museum_highres_002

 

Oscar Murillo_The Absent Museum_highres_005

 

Jo Baer_The Absent Museum_highres_001

 

Luc Tuymans_The Absent Museum_highres_001

 

Luc Tuymans_The Absent Museum_highres_002

 

Guillaume Bijl_Walter Swennen_The Absent Museum_001

 

Jef Geys_Martin Kippenberger_The Absent Museum_001

 

Marcel Broothaers_The Absent Museum_001

 

Guillaume Bijl_Wesley Meuris_The Absent Museum_001

 

stanley brouwn_The Absent Museum_001

 

Felix Nussbaum_The Absent Museum_002

 

Francis Alys_The Absent Museum_003

 

Francis Alys_Jef Geys_The Absent Museum_003

 

Luc Tuymans and others_The Absent Museum_001

 

Gerhard Richter_The Absent Museum_001

 

Dirk Braeckman_Martin Kippenberger_Gerhard Richter_ TheAbsent Museum_001

 

Sammy Baloji_Walter Swennen_The Absent Museum_001

 

Mekhitar Garabedian_Michel Francois_The Absent Museum_001 Michel francois_The Absent Museum_001

 

Ellen Gallagher_The Absent Museum_002

 

Ellen Gallagher_The Absent Museum_003

 

Daniel Dewar & Gregory Gicquel_The Absent Museum_001

 

Daniel Dewar & Gregory Gicquel_The Absent Museum_002 Marlene Dumas_The Absent Museum_003

 

Marlene Dumas_The Absent Museum_005

 

Rosemarie Trockel_The Absent Museum_001

 

Rosemarie Trockel_The Absent Museum_002

 

Rosemarie Trockel_The Absent Museum_003

 

Olivier Foulon_The Absent Museum_001

 

Monica Baer_The Absent Museum_001

 

Isa Genzken_The Absent Museum 001

 

Isa Genzken_The Absent Museum 002

 

Christopher Williams_The Absent Museum_001

 

Christopher Williams_The Absent Museum_005

 

Marina Pinsky_The Absent Museum_005

 

Marina Pinsky_The Absent Museum_002

 

Ann_Veronica_Janssens_The Absent_Museum_002

 

Thomas Hirschhorn_The Absent Museum_006

 

Lili Reynaud-Dewar_The Absent Museum_001

 

Lili Reynaud-Dewar_The Absent Museum_002

 

Lili Reynaud-Dewar_The Absent Museum_007

 

Michel Francois_The Absent Museum_002

 

Michel Francois_The Absent Museum_005

 

Jamie Cameron_Absent Museum_highres_001

 

Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter_The Absent Museum_highres_006

 

Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter_The Absent Museum_highres_016

 

Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter_The Absent Museum_highres_014

 

Mark Manders_The Absent Museum_001

 

Mark Manders_The Absent Museum_005

 

 

The Absent Museum

Francis Alÿs, Archief van de Universele Ambassade, Younes Baba-Ali, Jo Baer, Monika Baer, Sammy Baloji, Guillaume Bijl, Dirk Braeckman, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Marlene Dumas, Jimmie Durham, Jana Euler, Olivier Foulon, Michel François, Ellen Gallagher, Mekhitar Garabedian, Isa Genzken, Jef Geys, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Cameron Jamie, Ann Veronica Janssens, Martin Kippenberger, Goshka Macuga, Mark Manders, Lucy McKenzie, Wesley Meuris, Nástio Mosquito, Jean-Luc Moulène, Le Mur, Oscar Murillo, Otobong Nkanga, Felix Nussbaum, Willem Oorebeek, Marina Pinsky, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Gerhard Richter, Walter Swennen, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans, Richard Venlet, Peter Wächtler, Christopher Williams and Nil Yalter

20 April – 13 August 2017

 

Wiels

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354

Brussels (BE)

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of the artists and WIELS

Photography: Kristien Daem


 

COLLECT ART BY THOMAS HIRSCHHORN

Thomas_Hirschhorn_art_edition_for_sale_buy_online_journal

Thomas Hirschhorn

Edition for the South London Gallery, 2016

(73 x 103 cm / - Unique framed work in a series of 15 variations, signed by the artist)

€ 6800

 

Thomas_Hirschhorn_Too_too_much_much_necklace_1_2010_edition_sale_online_buy_journal

Thomas Hirschhorn

Too Too Much Much Necklace, 2010

(33 x 72 x 23 cm / - Edition of 8 copies, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 4500

 

 

COLLECT ART BY MARK MANDERS

Mark_Manders_A_Few_Things_One_Is_Not_Allowed_to_Do_2011_edition_for_sale_buy_online_journal

Mark Manders

A Few Things One Is Not Allowed to Do, 2011

(30 x 40 cm / - Edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 250

 

 

COLLECT ART BY LUC TUYMANS

Luc_Tuymans_Dead_Skull_2010_edition_sale_online_journal

Luc Tuymans

Dead Skull, 2011

(40 x 40 cm / - Edition of 60 copies, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 2200

 

Luc_Tuymans_The_Rumour_2002_2003_edition_sale_online_overview_journal

 

Luc Tuymans

The Rumour, 2002-2003

(668 x 91.4 cm / - Edition of 18 copies, signed and numbered by the artist on certificate)

€ 45000

 

 

COLLECT ART BY MEKHITAR GARABEDIAN

Mekhitar_Garabedian_Library_Mesrob_2006_edition_for_sale_buy_online_journal

Mekhitar Garabedian

Library (Mesrob), 2006

(40 x 30 cm / - Edition of 25 copies, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 250

 

 

COLLECT ART BY JIMMIE DURHAM

Jimmie_Durham_Poison_Evidence_edition_sale_online_journal

Jimmie Durham

Poison Evidence, 2014

(28 x 28 cm / - Unique, in a series of 21 variations, signed by the artist)

€ 1275

 

 

COLLECT ART BY MARINA PINSKY

Marina_Pinsky_MMXVI_online_art_edition_for_sale_journal_overview

Marina Pinsky

MMXVI, 2016

(21 x 17 cm / - Edition of 38 unique photographs, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 230

 

 

COLLECT ART BY DIRK BRAECKMAN

Dirk_Braeckman_FT_TF_13_2013_2013_edition_sale_online_journal_2

Dirk Braeckman

F.T.-T.F.-13-2013, 2013

(29,7 x 42 cm / - Edition of 30 copies, signed and numbered by the artist)

€ 1400