The cupola of the Bonnefanten Museum only gets a new artwork once every couple of years, so when one of your favourite contemporary artists turns it into something new, you got to go and experience it!
Right before the closing of the exhibition, my friend Katrien and I decided to pay a visit to ‘Rik Wouters & het huiselijk utopia’ (Rik Wouters & the private utopia) at the MoMu in Antwerp.
The recurring theme of domestic intimacy on the post-impressionist paintings by Rik Wouters was the foundation on which the exhibition was build. Contemporary trends of people searching for domestic intimacy, restoring contact with nature and the current popularity of crafts, linked the exhibition with the utopian ideas of Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden. A book published in 1954, introducing a non-industrial, natural lifestyle as an alternative for an over-stimulated consumer society (of which a book-review will follow soon).
The exhibition also featured works of contemporary artists and fashion designers. A beautiful homage to a painter who died 100 years ago.
Last weekend my friend Suzanne and I visited museum De Domijnen in Sittard (NL). Since I did go to high school in Sittard and I always had an interest in culture and history, I’d been in the Domijnen many times. But times are a changing and the museum got a new site, being a part of a newly build cultural house that hosts not only exhibitions but also the library, a small cinema, theatre, bar and a school.
We hadn’t checked the exhibition beforehand, but the theme could not have been more relevant for the current developments around the world. The exhibit ‘Over de grens’ which means ‘Crossing borders’, featured work of artists who are looking for connections with people from other cultures, seeking contact with and opening up towards others.
What mostly spoke to me were the sculptures by German artist Brele Scholz. The faces of her ‘Umgebaute Europäer’ (Converted Europeans) can literally be opened up to see what’s going on inside somebody else’s head.
Let’s hope artworks like Brele’s will be an inspiration to cross those borders, to open up to each other and be curious about what’s going on inside somebody else’s head.