From the Collection | noWHere

30 Nov 2019 – 16 Feb 2020

Regular hours

09:30 – 17:30
09:30 – 17:30
09:30 – 17:30
09:30 – 17:30
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

individual 8 euro, reduction 6 euro, youngsters 19-26 y. 2 euro, under 18 free.

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The exhibition unites a number of artists from the S.M.A.K. collection around the idea of the so-called ‘non-place’.


In 1992, the French philosopher and anthropologist Marc Augé described the ‘non-lieu’ as a universal site devoid of social or architectural identity; a typical product of our Western super-modernity which, thanks to its ‘in-between status’, will never achieve the status of a fully humanised place. Examples of ‘non-places’ cited by Augé are airports, hotel rooms, metro stations and motorways, although museums might also be candidates for this designation. Due to their impersonal, anonymous and transient nature, ‘non-places’ arouse a range of indefinable feelings, from ‘unheimlichkeit’ (uncanniness), nostalgia, detachment and dehumanisation; to a longing for, or expectation of, exoticism, escapism, freedom or a brighter future.

Whilst the ‘non-place’ is interpreted from a socio-anthropological point of view, based on its anonymous nature and effect on human psychology, many artists conversely seem to understand it as utopian. For them, the ‘non-place’ is a metaphor for the longing for a place in which pure autonomy reigns, both with regards to the art itself, and in relation to the society in which it is situated. In any case, the majority of artworks in this exhibition depict not only an unattached, distant, estranging and alienated interaction with today’s super-modern, fleeting reality; but also seldom tolerate other works in their vicinity. Hence the decision to present them here as independent of one another, as ‘non-places’ in between concrete site and mental space, between somewhere and nowhere, here and now, and there and then.

Featuring work by artists including Dirk Braeckman, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Johan De Wilde, Richard Long, Mark Manders, Wesley Meuris, Reinhard Mucha, Dennis Oppenheim, Paul Thek, Jan Vercruysse, Henk Visch and Lawrence Weiner.

Exhibiting artists

Reinhard Mucha

Mark Manders

Jan Vercruysse

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner

Paul Thek

Dirk Braeckman

Jean-Marc Bustamante

Wesley Meuris

Johan De Wilde

Dennis Oppenheim

Henk Visch

Richard Long


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