IN SITU: Tenant of Culture


M HKA, Antwerpen

21 January 2023 - 30 April 2023

Under the moniker of Tenant of Culture, Hendrickje Schimmel works with fashion as a trained fashion and textile practitioner, but does so from the perspective of the field of contemporary art. The artist makes objects and installations employing used, leftover or deadstock garments as her main source material. Plastic handbags, technical sportswear and leather shoes are carefully extracted from the frenetic circuit of fast fashion to become amplified versions of themselves. Her sculptural works also involve materials found in home decoration or construction, such as tiles, cement and plaster. Together, they mingle, regenerate and merge in unexpected constellations of beauty and monstrosity. By means of collage, analysis and (de)construction, Tenant of Culture seeks to set the terms of an inclusive understanding of cultural production, in which labour and craft, bodies and warehouses, waste and resources, affect and industry, planned obsolescence and sustainability, agency and dependency, exist in visible proximity.

For her IN SITU presentation, Tenant of Culture has created a new installation suspended and isolated in the space. The work consists of a 22m long steel structure serving as a display support for a wide range of sculptural objects. Each item possesses a unique identity and is testament to ultra-precise and devotional craft, contrasting with the stark and flexible functionality of what resembles an industrial conveyor system as used in storage warehouses, distribution centres and dark stores. This exhibition seeks to articulate an ambitious step in the development of Tenant of Culture’s practice, in which the global movements of the fashion industry, from opacity to visibility, become conceptual and speculative tools for the work.

A series of garment transforming workshops led by the artist, along with a public programme, will be held alongside the exhibition.

About the artist

Tenant of Culture is the moniker given to the artistic practice of Hendrickje Schimmel. The artist completed a BA in Fashion Design at ArtEZ School of the Arts, Arnhem, NL, followed by an MA in Textiles at the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Tenant of Culture has developed solo exhibitions in several institutions and galleries, including Soft Acid, Camden Art Centre, London (2022); et al., Kunstverein Dresden, Dresden (2021), Tenant of Culture, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (2020) and Works and Days, Outpost Gallery, Norwich (2018). Tenant of Culture’s practice has also been presented in multiple group exhibitions, among which are: Testament, Goldsmith Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2022); Sartor Resartus, Huset fur Kunst & Design, Copenhagen (2021); Post-Digital Intimacy, National Gallery, Prague (2021); Image Power, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (2020) and Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. As part of her practice, Tenant of Culture regularly organises garment transformation workshops with the intent of raising awareness towards the manufacturing and distribution processes of fashion, and in which the relationship of participants to their clothes is questioned.

Hendrickje Schimmel was born in 1990 in Arnhem, The Netherlands, and is currently based in London, United Kingdom.


Since 2015, the IN SITU programme at M HKA has presented monographic exhibitions by artists from around the world. It focuses on the development of new work and presentations conceived specifically for the largest and most atypical exhibition space of the museum.

Curator: Anne-Claire Schmitz

With the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Belgium and Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage.

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