Art in your living room: the unusual setting of 'Museum at home’

© Museum van Elsene / Musée de Ixelles
| Félix de Boeck. Le Pigeon. (1928)

‘Musée comme chez soi’ (MCCS) brings art to the community. With the Museum van Elsene/ Musée de Ixelles closed for renovation, they chose to display ten pieces of their permanent collection in ten private homes in the neighborhood. “The idea of the museum as a temple is over.”

Twice a year, ‘Musée comme chez soi’ (‘Museum at Home’) turns the spotlight on masterpieces of modern and contemporary art, reproducing the exhibition outside traditional spaces.

The project has recently won the aKCess Prize, an initiative of public funded association Prométhéa, which promotes accessibility to the arts and cultural events. “Art is meant to be shared” says curator Claire Leblanc. “We are very proud of this award.”

Three editions and thirty homes involved: MCCS is quickly becoming a fixed art appointment in Elsene/Ixelles. How did you bring the local community in?
Claire Leblanc:
Hosting residents have picked their favorite among a pre-selection of 40 artworks out of our 10.000 pieces collection. They will be supported by ten animateurs who will guide visitors and by our logistics team in the unpacking, placement and supervision of the artifacts. In fact, it is a huge project to carry out, requiring months of preparation for a total of six editions planned.

The exhibit features ten Belgian artists across centuries, techniques and mediums. How did you make the selection?
We wanted to showcase the multifaceted panorama of Belgian art from the 19th century until today. Among the ten works shortlisted, the abstract movement is represented by the lyrical geometries of Vegetaux, by Brussels-native painter Anne Bonnet as well as by Félix de Boeck’s constructionist painting Le Pigeon. Moreover, I have selected the intimist sculptures of Oscar Jespers and a video installation of Edith Dekyndt. She is one of our most recent acquisitions, a contemporary artist with an international profile: we are honored to show her poetical vision of life through The Soul Collector.

© Museum van Elsene/ Musée de Ixelles
| Edith Dekyndt. The Soul Collector. (2001)

You have curated numerous exhibitions in Brussels and abroad. What makes the difference between supervising a project like this and an exposition in a museum?
. Oh, it’s very different. Definitely a big change for myself and the whole team. The idea of the Museum as a temple is over. We are considering to keep the event going even after renovation, because we should reinvent the way we show art and involve the public in the future.

Musée comme chez soi 23/06, 13.00>18.00, Londenplein/ Place de Londres.

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