Art & Diplomacy

21 July 2019 - 30 August 2019

Egmont Palace, Brussels, BE

Since 2012, exhibitions are held every year at the Egmont Palace at the occasion of July 21st. These exhibitions reach a diverse audience, ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 visitors, including heritage adepts, art lovers, Brussels fanatics, tourists as well as accidental curious passers-by. For this eighth edition of the summer exhibition, the Egmont Palace is playing a sort of home game. As a still rather unknown heritage pearl and a temple of diplomacy, the Egmont Palace is opening its doors to the 'art & diplomacy' exhibition.
Art and diplomacy are not obvious bedfellows. The world of diplomacy is one of consensus and compromise, of protocol rules and legislative frameworks, of ironing out issues and working discreetly. Art and artists, on the other hand, have a rebellious and contrarian image, or are at least regarded as critical and questioning. They don't shy away from trampling over the established order, and they don't care about being labelled. This exhibition explores both worlds, away from the clichéd image we have of them. After all, wasn't Rubens also known for his diplomatic talents?
Based on 6 perspectives, works of art by 25 artists from the art collection of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and a few didactic objects, such as an ambassador’s costume, scale models of Belgian embassies, documents from the archives, various aspects of Belgian diplomacy and embassies are highlighted. Through those perspectives, ‘building up the dialogue’, ‘at your service’, ‘conversation pieces’, ‘it’s a risky business’, ‘fading memory’ and ‘food for thought’ the visitor gets an impression about the real estate, the public service functions, the cultural diplomacy, the life in an outpost and the culinary diplomacy.
Artists: Sven Augustijnen, Ruben Bellinkx, Guy Bleus, Marcel Ceuppens, Mon Colonel & Spit, Carl De Keyzer, Ronny Delrue, Wim Delvoye, Thierry Falisse, Emmanuel Kervyn, Lieven Lefere, Emilio Lopez-Menchero, Vincent Meessen, Johan Muyle, Otobong Nkanga, Hans Op de Beeck, Max Pinckers, Marie-Françoise Plissart, Bernard Queeckers, Ana Torfs, Luc Tuymans, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Catharina Van Eetvelde, Yves Velter