IN SITU: Ignace Cami - RE:ANKER


M HKA, Antwerp

10 June 2023 - 03 September 2023

Ignace Cami is an artist that gives obsolete things renewal. Playing with the notion of ‘heritage’, he questions its place as being part of the natural law of society, whilst creating the conditions for its contemporary purpose and application. Today we see heritage with an overabundance of uses, from patrimony to carrots. Yet things that represent historical legacy have also become a site for contentions of the ideological kind, forming a friction between cultural stagnation and transformation. In this context, Cami asks such questions as: how might we relate to bygone cultural artefacts that are seen as inextricably connected to a place and a time? What happens when they are in the ‘wrong’ place or the ‘wrong’ time? What use is there for the archaic and the hyper-local? In what new ways can they find a meaningful place in the here and now?

For his exhibition RE:ANKER, the verb verankeren (to connect with or to anchor) offers a way to understand Ignace Cami’s methodology for working with heritage and folk culture more broadly. At the same time, the verb points to the connection he seeks between the exhibition and the port city of Antwerp as well as the river Scheldt, only a few metres away from M HKA. Cami looks at things that have become disconnected by the passing of time, and creates ways for them to reconnect in the present; language, memory and narrative in particular playing a central role. RE:ANKER presents several existing works alongside new creations, offering some insights into his interdisciplinary approach. Experimenting playfully with different forms of cultural heritage found in the public domain, his practice typically possesses a generosity, inviting people to interact or partake. During the exhibition, several projects are activated for the public: fresh ‘speculoos’ biscuits are offered, a newly-formed choir sings, and on the last day there will be a celebration with geese.

Ignace Cami lives and works in Antwerp. He was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht from 2020 until 2021. Together with Ward Zwart he ran the space CRYING space. He has participated in many group exhibitions, including: KRASJ 5: Biënnale Actuele Kunst, Ninove (2021); TRACES of the future, valerie_traan gallery, Antwerp (2020); Coup de Ville 2016, Sint-Niklaas (2016); Stille kracht, De Warande, Turnhout (2014). His recent solo exhibition TROMPO, was held at DMW Gallery, Antwerp (2021). RE:ANKER at M HKA is his first museum solo exhibition.

Performance: Ignace Cami, RE:ANKER (2023)

Sunday 21 May, at 2 PM and at 4 PM (Antwerp Art Weekend)
Saturday 10 June, at 3 PM and at 4 PM (Official opening)
Saturday 5 August, at 8 PM and at 10 PM (Museumnacht)
Location: M HKA, ground floor IN SITU space

Ignace Cami’s new project of the same name, RE:ANKER (2023), comprising a newly formed choir. Three songs about Antwerp and its port are sung by a group of twelve singers that are new to the Dutch language. Individually writing their own lyrics through the act of listening, they phonetically transform the original words and sounds into something new and enigmatic. Cami initiated the collaborative singing performance RE:ANKER specifically for his solo exhibition of the same name at M HKA. Entwining the connective nature of singing with the alien experience of facing a foreign language, the transformative power of interpretation is harnessed.

RE:ANKER 7” vinyl record

After just four rehearsals, these newly transformed versions were recorded. Ignace Cami’s limited edition 7” vinyl record RE:ANKER is available for purchase at the museum for €15.


Sunday 3 September, from 3 PM
Performance: Ignace Cami, I’ll explain everything to the geese (2022)
Performance: Ignace Cami, RE:ANKER (2023)

Location: M HKA, ground floor IN SITU space

In collaboration with bakery Dellafaille.


Click here to browse the digital scan of the exhibition.

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