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well received and, in 1982, the Flemish community decided to found M HKA. Although the inheritance of the ICC formed an essential starting point for the museum’s vision and policy, the appointment of current director Bart De Baere came with a gradual shift from mainly western-orientated art to a broader international perspective and a reduced emphasis on Belgian artists. Currently, the museum shines a bright light on artists from Asia, Russia and Eurasia, yet Belgian art continues to occupy an important place that is more pronounced and part of a larger whole.
Leading the way By presenting a permanent collection that is free to visit for the public, M HKA once more proves its position as a pioneer of the Flemish artistic landscape. “Our previous nature of exclusively hosting temporary exhibitions sometimes raised questions about where visitors could find specific art-
ists,” De Vlegelaer continues. “We decided to open up a collection that is always available to everyone – for free. The collection comprises of iconic works from 25 different Flemish and international artists, that well reflect the DNA of our entire collection.” M HKA’s collection starts with the postwar avant-garde in Antwerp and Flanders, and uses this epoch as a starting point to gain understanding of the multi-polar world of today and the future. The collection includes more than 5,000 works, with big names like Kutlu Ataman, Francis Alÿs, Marlene Dumas and Jan Fabre; and objects, including a series of Polaroids by Luc Tuymans. Over the last few years, several ensembles have been purchased, including works by Sergey Bratkov, Jimmie Durham and Wilhelm Sasnal. Artworks from places where contemporary art is much less known are purchased as well, for example works by the Egyptian Amal Kenawy or by Indian artist NS Harsha. M HKA also possesses the Vri-
elynck Collection, a collection of precinema objects and film hardware of international importance.
Back to the future Making waves this summer is A Temporary Futures Institutes, the temporary exhibition combining visual displays by professional futurists with works by contemporary artists, to see what these two contexts might have in common – and how they might question each other. “This exhibition is where science and art meet,” De Vlegelaer concludes. “It wants us to think critically about things to come rather than looking back at how previous periods imagined our future. Naturally that can be different to everyone – no one imagines the future in the exact same way.” Curious to know more? A Temporary Futures Institute runs until 17 September at M HKA. For more information, please visit www.muhka.be
Jan Fabre collection.
Issue 44 | August 2017 | 29
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.