Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens, Part I: Thinking Visually


M HKA, Antwerpen

28 April 2017 - 25 June 2017

Last year, M HKA was invited by EMST in Athens for the opening exhibition in the new museum building. Today, Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens forms the second part of this collaboration in which a number of dialogues between works from the two collections will be resumed. The urgency is to be found, not only at the level of the content, but also in a practice – the dialogic – which is symmetrical in its nature.

At first sight, Athens and Antwerp are extremes in today’s Europe. In any case, both cities have each in their own way contributed to Europe’s cultural fabric. The major lines of our social organisation stem from Athens, as well our idea of art. As for Antwerp, it is one of the key cities of the early modern era, a centre of research and thought, the city where Utopia was written and the first art market was created.

Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens is built from the bottom up. A work of an artist from Belgium and a Greek artist's work are linked. Starting from here, a subject arises. This theme will be further tested and enriched by adding a third work, 

creating thematic clusters – each time featuring three artists. The concept embodies the belief that art works can constantly raise new insights and thus encourage the dialogue that forms the social basis for our societal thinking.

#1 Thinking Visually

One often only locates thinking at a linguistic level, but complex ideas, emotions and situations can be clearly and holistically explained by visual means as well. Digital media make it possible to immediately create and share images; they put pressure on the widespread encoding in signs and symbols.


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