Mass (and Individual) Moving


M HKA, Antwerp

13 May 2023 - 03 September 2023

Sunday 3 September there will be a guided tour hosted by the curator Lotte Beckwé and by artist Johan Opstaele, starting at 2pm. Feel free to join! 


Art without relevance is decorative and doesn't really interest me. 

- Raphaël Opstaele

Born in the rebellious spirit of May 68, the loose collective Mass Moving hoped – like the students on the barricades – to take control of the imagination. Preferably as a collective, and as wild and experimental as possible, far away from the established art world and ditto art market. Artists, engineers and architects united and from the marriage of ecology and aesthetics – contorted between the mind of a scientist and that of an anarchist shoemaker – they discovered that controversy could be a way of life. The street was their field of action, their concerns were mobility, biodiversity and energy. In 1976, after about hundred actions and projects, the group fell apart. Some of the original members resumed the ideals and updated them under a new name: Mass and Individual Moving.

With an overview of Mass Moving (1968-1976) and Mass and Individual Moving (1976-1985), the M HKA highlights one of the most exciting expressions of engaged creativity. The ideas of the Marxists-oriented situationists and the anti-materialist lifestyle of the beatniks and hippies had become commonplace, yet the Brussels based group – visionary, participative, global and groundbreaking – tackled their cold war and oil crisis society with new technologies, such as solar and wind energy. With a view to future solutions to the current conflicts in our society, 'Mass (and Individual) Moving' is an enlightening and inspiring step back in time.

Artist Raphaël Opstaele and mining engineer Bernard Delville are the core members of the group. Founders also include theatre and film actor PINK de Thierry (Helena Scheerder) and architect Jef De Groote. The M HKA also got in contact with Barbara Hahn, Johan Opstaele, Luc Schuiten, Paul Gonze and Pierre Gonay who, among many others, contributed to the dynamics of the group.

With special thanks to Barbara Hahn, Johan Opstaele, Julie Opstaele, Luc Schuiten, Bernard Delville en Barbara Otto. Many thanks to Flor Bex en Lieve De Deyne, Paul Gonze, Pierre Gonay, Françoise Levie, Toni Geirlandt, Marc Schepers, Stephan Peleman, Roger D’Hondt, Simon Delobel en Carine Lampens

Click here to browse the digital scan of the exhibition.


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