M HKA gaat digitaal

Met M HKA Ensembles zetten we onze eerste échte stappen in het digitale landschap. Ons doel is met behulp van nieuwe media de kunstwerken nog beter te kaderen dan we tot nu toe hebben kunnen doen.

We geven momenteel prioriteit aan smartphones en tablets, m.a.w. de in-museum-ervaring. Maar we zijn evenzeer hard aan het werk aan een veelzijdige desktop-versie. Tot het zover is vind je hier deze tussenversie.

M HKA goes digital

Embracing the possibilities of new media, M HKA is making a particular effort to share its knowledge and give art the framework it deserves.

We are currently focusing on the experience in the museum with this application for smartphones and tablets. In the future this will also lead to a versatile desktop version, which is now still in its construction phase.

Exhibition: MARIANNE BERENHAUT – to the right & back

M HKA, Antwerp

11 September 2021 - 09 January 2022

image: © Marianne Berenhaut

Dividing her time between Brussels and London, Marianne Berenhaut (Brussels, b. 1934) makes poetic sculptures assembled with discarded or left-behind objects, creating associative compositions and muted installations. Until recently, her work has remained relatively underappreciated, but the art world is beginning to take notice of her powerful and extensive oeuvre.


For an object to be included in her practice, it must bear signs of life and use. For over six decades Berenhaut has been carefully selecting and incorporating objects like old furniture, garments, and toys in her sculptures. When experiencing one of her installations, an oppressive silence, sadness, or doom hangs in the air. It’s as if an unknown human fate is being summoned, the objects expressing a forgotten life story. In her unique visual language, she addresses longing, absence, trauma, and memory.


Vie Privée, the generic title that Marianne has given to her works of the last twenty years, leads the viewer to believe that they are entering a domestic, intimate environment. On the contrary, the artist emphasizes the ever-present connection between "her art" and the social life around her. Her unpretentious and somewhat naive sculptures play on collective emotional memory; to reduce them to nostalgic secondhand objects would be an injustice, like reducing the Shoah to a fait divers


The series Poupées Poubelles (created in the 1970s) is a collection of dolls made from nylon stockings filled with rags, hay, straw, and flowers – each with their own everyday object. This series is characteristic of the latent visual language that the artist so often uses. Of the assemblage Vie Privée : Le Lit (2020), she says, "When it was finished, I was surprised. It looked like nothing I had ever made. Until then, I often talked about loss, about the life I was robbed of, and my childhood. But since I made this sculpture, I've been more concerned with my personal life and my personal fantasies."


Speaking about the "left-behind" objects she collects, she emphatically explains that they are not merely “there”. Whether they were found on the street, at a flea market, or in a garage sale, she allows her discoveries to age undisturbed, waiting for an association or melding that presents itself at the right moment. The sculptures are created without preconceived ideas, and thus tell their story only afterwards, a posteriori.


Marianne Berenhaut (Brussels, 1934) lives and works alternately in Brussels and London. This year, M HKA acquired two of her works, a Poupée Poubelle and Le Lit. They are exhibited together with a number of works on loan.


Marianne Berenhaut creates poetic sculptures with so-called discarded objects. These objects, ranging from kitchen utensils to broken tables and nylon stockings, metal pipes and plates, all bear signs of a history and life. Since the 1960s, Berenhaut has developed an oeuvre that she has divided into four periods or families: Maison Sculpture, followed by Poupée Poubelle in the 1970s, Vie Privée since the 1980s, and her most recent work, since 2015, which she refers to as Bits and Pieces. A turning point in her oeuvre is Le Lit from 2000.


Thierry de Duve on her work: “One can only rejoice to see Marianne moving towards reconciliation with her life as a survivor. Her recent work has changed, it is less tragic, more playful, more erotic too. No doubt it will never be free of ambivalence [...]. For her it will always be a question of faithfulness and memory, or of faithfulness to memory, which is a service she renders us – for in Auschwitz, humanity was orphaned of itself, and that is something no one can forget."

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>Marianne Berenhaut, Le Lit, 2000

>Map of the exhibition

>View of the exhibition

>View of the exhibition

>Postcard Marianne Berenhaut EN

>Exhibition view

> Marianne Berenhaut, Hommage à Brâncuși (Le Baiser), 1965. Installation, plaster, lead.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Passoire rouge (écumoire) [from the series Poupée poubelle], 1970-1979. Sculpture, 105 x 46 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Table de jardin plâtrée, 1993. Installation, metallic garden table with lead tube, plaster strips, 80 x 90 x 52 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Votre nom ?, 1995. Installation, 2 parts of an industrial radiator, 2 parts of metal drawers, 30 x 190 x 20 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Elle lui a raconté qu’ il y avait eu du bruit sur le toit, 1995. Installation, zinc, metal string, lead, 30 x 122 x 135 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Enlève-moi ça, 1999. Installation, 1 broom, 1 very small dustpan, 140 x 105 x 60 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Le Lit (Vie Privée series), 2000. Installation, metal bed quilted with seaweed dried, 5 baubles of glasses, mattress, 75,5 x 87,5 x 190 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Mariage entre un vélo et des interrupteurs [from the series Vie privée], 2003. Installation, 2 bike mudguards, folded aluminium slate, 4 porcelain switches, 90 x 140 x 50 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Y a-t-il un pharmacien dans cette ville ! , 2010. Installation, boxes, metal object, net, 140 x 110 x 40 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Est-ce qu’il me reconnaitra ? , 2012. Installation, armchair, 80 x 60 x 70 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Cartographie au féminin, 2013. Installation, wooden hanger, textiles, 166 x 130 x 110 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Enquête, 2014. Installation, chalk line, white watercolour pencil, 0.5 x 100 x 180 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, C’est pas très Haut, c’est pas très Long, c’est pas très Profond, 2014. Installation, cardboard box, shredded paper, 70 x 29 x 29 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, The Man next Door, 2015. Installation, wood table, 100 x 60 x 100 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Notes de Musique sur un Mur Blanc, 2015. Installation, bamboo, coloured latex rubberband, 130 x 700 x 150 cm.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Le Clown, 2020. Installation, bread, thumbtacks, wooden board.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Lotte Beckwé, Audio - Interview Marianne Berenhaut, 2021. Interview, audio, 00:13:23.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Photo's Poupée poubelle. Digital image.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Photo's Maison sculpture. Photography.

> Marianne Berenhaut, Tentative avant les poupées poubelles. Sculpture.