WIELS // The Absent Museum

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the WIELS museum holds a grand exhibition at the fully renovated Blomme building as well as in the two adjacent buildings, which used to be part of the Wielemans brewery site as well. The title of the expo, The Absent Museum, refers to the influence that symbolist thinking has had and still has on Belgian modernity. Although WIELS doesn’t have the official status of a museum, it’s commonly called ‘the WIELS museum’. This is a sign of recognition as well as of the expectations that the audience has about WIELS as a cultural institution. Therefore WIELS decided to use this temporary expo to set out a blueprint for a possible museum of contemporary art in the capital of Europe – Brussels.

The exhibition is both a retrospective on the journey that WIELS has made so far and an exploration of its future development. The local discussion is anchored within an international perspective of art and globalization. The participating artists reflect on how to maintain the tension between globalization’s paradoxes, history’s turbulences and their individual sensibilities and voices.

WIELS Brussels

Although museums have never been as popular as they are nowadays – especially those dedicated to contemporary art – it’s striking to see how ‘absent’ they still are from the public space and how their voice is often not heard in the formation of a public opinion. With this expo, WIELS strives to make an end to this ‘absence’, in close cooperation with the annual Kunstenfestivaldesarts that is, like WIELS, an important platform for artistic creation and the exchange of ideas.

The Absent Museum presents existing works and new productions of about 45 contemporary and historical artists who are dealing with the challenges that museums are facing today and with the communities they inspire:

Francis Alÿs, Archives de l’Ambassade Universelle, Younes Baba-Ali, Jo Baer, Monika Baer, Sammy Baloji, Guillaume Bijl, Dirk Braeckman, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Daniel Dewar & Gregory 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, Peter Wächtler, Christopher Williams, Nil Yalter.

The Absent Museum Wiels

Press articles about The Absent Museum (Photo taken from Facebook WIELS)

    • When: until 13/08/2017
    • Where: WIELS, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354, 1190 Brussels
    • Opening hours: 
      • Tue – Sun: 11.00 – 18.00
      • Nocturne: every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month: 11.00 – 21.00
      • Closed: Monday
    • Ticket prices:
      • Individual visitor: 12 €
      • Teachers, seniors (+60), groups (> 10 pers), disabled: 10 €
      • Students (+12), school groups, unemployed: 5 €
      • Children (< 12 years old) accompanied by their parents: free
      • Every first Wednesday of the month: free entrance!
    • Follow WIELS on Facebook!

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