On 4 May 1928 the Centre for Fine Arts (‘Palais des Beaux-Arts’) in Brussels officially opened its doors. In the past, 4 May 1928 has invariably been taken to be the anniversary date of the Centre for Fine Art. Each celebration focused on what had happened in Victor Horta’s building since the opening. Voluminous books have documented the many exhibitions, concerts, shows, debates, lectures, film screenings and performances.
The exhibition Project Palace returns to a different date. On 4 April 1922 the statutes of an association called ‘Palais des Beaux-Arts’ were signed at the Brussels town hall. The first article defines the ambition of the new art institution as follows: ‘to build and manage a building that is mainly devoted to artistic exhibitions, musical performances, and literary or artistic displays or gatherings’.
Project Palace thus celebrates another equally symbolic anniversary of the Centre for Fine Arts: the day the dream for a lively arts centre – once expressed by Queen Elisabeth – became a project. Together with the artists and the public, the exhibition aims to reflect on the meaning and significance of such a centenary in the year 2022. What works can we assemble for this anniversary? And what do these works potentially convey about the institution we celebrate? About what it had to become at the time, what it was yesterday, what it is today and what it can still become tomorrow?
Invited Artists: Lara Almarcegui, Jeremiah Day, Sylvie Eyberg, Liam Gillick, Annaïk Lou Pitteloud, Lynn Cassiers, Koen van den Broek, Sammy Baloji & Johan Lagae & Traumnovelle, Auguste Orts (Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Manon de Boer, Anouk De Clercq, Fairuz Ghammam)
Special Guests: Chantal Akerman, Ann Teresa De Keersmaeker, Raoul De Keyser, Duke Ellington, Olivier Foulon, Vic Gentils, Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Jane Graverol, Sandra Heremans, Guy Mees, Jaqueline Mesmaeker, Sergej Rachmaninov, Michael Van den Abeele, Raphäel Vanlerberghe, and Jan Vercruysse