Koen Vanmechelen (né en 1965)
Mechelse Bresse (He, KV) 2002
Os et plumes Cassel, musée départemental de Flandre © Jacques Quecq d'Henripret

Exhibitions | Fur and feathers

4 march - 9 july 2017

Following the animal painters in Flemish paintings of the 17th century, the museum of Flanders proposes to continue this first animal odyssey with a second exhibition dedicated to the animal in contemporary Belgian creations.

Through a dialogue undertaken with the collections of the museum of Flanders and with a specially conceived installation, the Roosters and rabbits exhibition provides a new setting for the surprising installations and photographs of renowned international artists such as Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Thierry De Cordier, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt, Koen Vanmechelen and Eric de Ville. It's practically the whole museum that's revisited.

Beyond their emotional power, the works, each in their own way, question the relationship between form, meaning and codification. Is a bird the symbol of liberty or is it a bad omen? Do animals incarnate a paradise lost or hell on earth? Doesn't their representation come down to confronting us with our own reality, forcing us to bring a critical eye to our human society and questioning us about the meaning of our existence?

Both the expressions and the messages are multiple. Yet there remains a point in common among all these artists: the material which constitutes the point of fusion and inspiration of their creations. Pigskin, tortoise shell, beetles, bones, feathers, gold leaf, metal, glass, soil and wax… are the media - containing or contents of the ideas. The beautiful is transcended by the fascination and complexity of the thought!