Once Upon a Time... - A View on Art in Belgium in the 90's

20 December 2003 - 29 February 2004

MuHKA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, BE

In Once Upon a Time… the M HKA presents a look at art in Belgium in the Nineties. 'A look at' does not mean offering a definitive, comprehensive, and sanctifying overview (for that is an impossible task), but rather a fresh review of a fascinating and well-filled decade. A decade in which numerous new artists embarked on attesting a breath-taking multitude of thoughts, ideas and feelings which can be expressed in very different ways. Such diversity is the focus of this exhibition.The exhibition is based on the collection of contemporary Belgian art which the Cera Foundation was able to put together during 5 years of patronage. From it a selection was made, which was supplemented with works by artists who are not (yet) represented in the collection. The Antwerp artist Guillaume Bijl was invited to put his 'look' alongside that of the M HKA and that of the Cera collection. Both for the M HKA and the Cera Foundation, (the opinion of) the artist is actually very important. Thus arose an intriguing, simultaneously fusing and conflicting picture of art in Belgium in the Nineties, through the eyes of an (established) artist, a museum and a Maecenas. Guillaume Bijl also signed the presentation of this 'look'. He emphasises the diversity of art in Belgium in the Nineties by grouping it according to the medium: videos, photographs, paintings, sculptures and drawings. Thus it not only appears that contemporary art is more than the cliché of new media and installations, but that there can also be great diversity in the lines of approach within one single medium. Guillaume Bijl gave the exhibition the first words of the ultimate dream, the fairy tale in which everything is possible: once upon a time... Like a fairy tale, but surprising at the same time: still so near and yet so far away as well...This project is part of the series of exhibitions, publications and lectures which the Cera Foundation and its partners are organising from November 2003 to February 2004.