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08 Jan 2010

Who's Afraid of the Museum? - Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen

© Sergey Bratkov

Who's Afraid of the Museum?


16/1 - 18/4/2010
open Tuesday - Sunday 10 am + 5 pm
opening Saturday 16. January 2010

+32 478 811 441
+32 15 336 337

F. de Merodestraat 65
BE 2800 Mechelen

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Following the very successful remodelling of the outside grounds, the Museum Hof van Busleydens inner spaces are to be renovated as from the summer of 2010. This is a unique opportunity to organise a final exhibition in the old rooms, with a thematic focus on the 'the way in which the museum can present its collection in a different way, and how contemporary art can play a part in creating a new dynamic, or make the collection speak in a different way.'

The contemporary art works will mainly be presented in confrontation with the existing collection that includes works from the 16th to the 20th century.

The city of Mechelen's (Malines') rich historical past is reflected in the very building of the Museum Hof van Busleyden and its collection. A select group of Belgian and international artists enter into a dialogue with a variety of objects such as torture devices, paintings, drawings, sculptures, gilded leather, chasubles or furniture. The contemporary artists' additions, confrontations, or interventions create a provocative artistic narrative at Hof van Busleyden.

'Who's Afraid of the Museum?' is reminiscent of the controversial 1962 play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' by Edward Albee. In this play, illusions are mentally stripped bare and one is confronted with the harsh reality of existence. The title of the exhibition refers perhaps even more to American artist Barnett Newman's painting series 'Who's afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue'. Just like Piet Mondriaan he sought the limitations of primary colours to come to the essence and the origin of painting.

Collecting is one of the museums primary functions. Familiar objects or works of art come to life in a different way through confrontation and dialogue.

The exhibition's curators (Bert de Leenheer, Dirk Vanhecke and Stef Van Bellingen) invited artists Sergey Bratkov, Sarah Corynen, Johan Creten, Luc Dondeyne, Andrei Dureika - Janna Grak - Andrei Loginov - Maxim Tyminko - Maxim Wakultschik, Bren Heymans & Djo Moembo, Allart Lakke, Stephanie Mold, Jérôme Porsperger, Thomas Raat, Fatou Kandé Senghor, Stefanie Trojan, Pieter Van Damme, Willem Weismann and Laura Wilson to create a new artistic exploration at the Hof van Busleyden.