Nestled in the heart of Brussels’ city centre, Centrale for Contemporary Art has for the past 11 years been carving out quite a reputation for itself, playing host to both local and international artists whilst reinforcing its commitment to the local scene. Here, we distill the ambitious centre for contemporary art in 25 essentials.
Part V of this five-part series pinpoints Centrale’s power of partnerships and the joys of giving back.
21. Centrale makes it a point of honor to work closely with art schools. Indeed, starting from next September, and concurrently to the exhibition Resistance, Centrale will become an open academy and host professors as well as students from several art schools in Brussels who will immerse themselves into the causes of the student and workers’ revolt of May ’68 in order to sound out present and future protest.
22. Since 2015, Centrale has developed, together with the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, the CARE Masters, a programme that seeks to rethink the practices in exhibition design, mediation and curating by responding to evolutions in the art world. Think a programme where students are in residence at Centrale, a real-life laboratory where art centre, art school, disciplines, cursus, media and practices all combine.
23. Centrale tries where possible to participate in festivals with both local and international dimensions, such as Europalia or Summer of Photography. In partnership with Argos, for instance, the centre organised the exhibition Mystic Transport as part of Europalia Turkey, a show that offered an unexpected dialogue between the Turkish artist Gülsun Karamustafa (Ankara, 1946) and the Brussels artist Koen Theys (Brussels, 1963). By collaborating with Europalia and by connecting the artwork of Brussels artists to those of foreigners, Centrale reveals and reinforces its will to infuse its mission with an international approach as well as its ability to create synergy with local cultural partners.
24. Centrale loves to experiment with varying means of artistic expression, as was the case with the artist Lise Duclaux, who samples plant cuttings among her friends or during her travels, cutting, naming and stamping them upon her return. Centrale welcomed the artist in its walls where the plants were then adopted by new owners.
25. Last but not least, one of Centrale’s essential missions is to make art accessible to all. Indeed, the centre aims to be a place of thinking, meeting and sharing with a wide spectrum of visitors, from families and children to people socially or economically disadvantaged. In this context, the art centre organises a plethora of activities adapted to its diverse public’s interests and expectations, with workshops, guided tours, participatory projects, artists meetings, conferences and projections all coming together in making this one of the most beloved art centres in Brussels. What’s more, a free guided tour of the exhibition is included with the ticket every first Sunday of the month.centrale.brussels