The Absent Museum

In homage to Marcel Broodthaers’s fictitious museum, this exhibition addresses Belgium’s identity crisis

By Sam Steverlynck

Felix Nussbaum, St. Cyprien (Gefangene in Saint-Cyprien), 1942, oil on canvas, 68 × 138 cm. Collection Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Osnabrück

Wiels, Brussels 20 April – 13 August In 1968 the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers set up the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles in his living room in Brussels, a fictitious museum with various ‘departments’ intended to mimic the functioning of museums while simultaneously denouncing the lack of a decent institution in his home city. Almost 40 years later, Brussels still has no museum for contemporary art. Hence, the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre has engaged in the hypothetical exercise of imagining…

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