We Should Believe in Our Time | Karel Geirlandt and the Society for the Museum of Contemporary Art

10 Nov 2018 – 10 Feb 2019

Event times

Tuesday – Friday 09:30 – 17:30
Saturday – Sunday, public holidays, school holidays 10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

12 euro individually, 9 euro reduction holders, 2 euro youngsters 19-26 y., up to 18 y. free admission.


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Discover how important the society of friends was for the birth of S.M.A.K. and for the Belgian artistic landscape.


This exhibition sheds light on the foundation of the Society for the Museum of Contemporary Art (Vereniging voor het Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst or V.M.H.K.) on the basis of archive research and interviews with people who were involved. Its initiator, Karel Geirlandt (1919-89) worked for decades to establish an independent Museum of Contemporary Art. This aim was achieved in two steps: the Museum of Contemporary Art was set up in 1975 but was housed in the Museum of Fine Art; in 1999, it was finally given its own building and a new name: the Municipal Museum for Contemporary Art (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst or S.M.A.K.).

The exhibition focuses first of all on the intellectual and artistic course of Karel Geirlandt’s life. It also includes a selection of the first artworks purchased by the Society, supplemented by some unique archive documents. Finally, it examines the role the V.M.H.K. and Karel Geirlandt played in the development of the artistic scene in Belgium between 1957 and 1960.

We Should Believe in Our Time is produced by The Mobile and Temporary Studio for Research and Production and initiated and coordinated by Koen Brams. Its participants are Laura Bovsovers, Rosanne Claes, Yirka De Brucker, Phyllis Dierick, Zeynep Kubat, Anton Pereira, Laura Persijn, Anna Püschel, Leen Steenberghs, Benedict Vandaele, Jakob Van den Broucke and Jeanne Vauterin.

Art form Toggle


Koen Brams

Exhibiting artists

Jimmie Durham

Louis Van Lint

Jan Burssens

Horia Damian


Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Reinhoud D'Haese


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