The city of Antwerp


Starting at the end of the 1960's and continuing throughout the 1970's, the city of Antwerp was the stage for numerous important "actions" by James Lee Byars. First the Wide White Space Gallery and later the Internationaal Cultureel Centrum played a vital role in organising events where Byars' performances could take place. In the spring of 1976 the I.C.C. hosted the extensive James Lee Byars / Extra Terrestrial exhibition. Alongside the numerous objects, videotapes and pictures, there were three site specific performances complementing the event. The most striking of these actions was without a doubt the The Extra-terrestrial Man. With the help of the people attending the opening and coincidental passers-by, a shadow-like figure, made out of black tule, measuring more than 250 meters was "unfolded" onto Antwerps busiest shopping street. This marvelous piece of textile, also known as The Black Giant of Antwerp remains until this day one of the most remarkable objects in the M HKA collection.

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