Six visits to some of the most forward-thinking spaces for emerging art in Antwerp.
An exhaustive overview of Belgium’s emerging art spaces can be found in our Thiis iis Belgiium book.
Founded in 2004 by curator and critic Wim Peeters, Antwerp’s Extra City started out in an unheated space down at the docks. Now they’ve set up in a large industrial building in Antwerp’s cool Zuid area. Renovations have just been completed and the centre now includes an enormous exhibition space on several floors and even a small cinema. “We want to be a hub and platform for the local scene and at the same time connect it to international developments in contemporary art,” explains the centre’s former artistic director, Romanian-born Mihnea Mircan.Eikelstraat 25 – 31 (2600)
Hole Of The Fox
Hole Of The Fox is a curatorial concept founded in December 2011 and whose emphasis is on the presentation of groundbreaking work by up-andcoming artists. Retaining some distance from the traditional gallery space as we have come to know it, Hole Of The Fox describes itself as somewhat of a nomadic creature, not necessarily limited to one location, constantly questioning the best way to exhibit the works of the artists it selects. With a firm focus on young blood, the independent exhibition space, located in the city’s Borgerhout district has already shown the works of artists such as Leon Sadler, Shana Teugels, and Tom Volkaert.24 Bloemstraat (2140)
Austrian-born art critic Ulrike Lindmayr founded the non-profit art space LLS 387 in 2007. “I try to organise projects that are possible because we’re on the periphery, not despite of it,” Ulrike says. Collaborations and promoting young emerging artists are a big priority: for the exhibition NowBelgiumNow Ulrike travelled the country with Stella Lohaus to visit 90 artists in order to choose nine of them for the exhibition. LLS 387 unites professionalism and experience with an alternative approach and improvisation: “The small budget we have keeps us on our feet.”Lange Leemstraat 387 (2018)
Marion De Cannière
After several years of running a gallery in the southern part of the city, supporting a range of Belgian and international artists, Marion De Cannière recently relocated to the city centre’s Leopoldplaats to open a non-profit art space in October 2015. Her centrally-located space – housed in the same distinctive building as gallery Geukens & De Vil – welcomes independent curators with the aim of showcasing both established and emerging artists, with recent exhibitions including artists such as Christoph Fink, Emilia Ukkonen, Erik Van Lieshout and Kader Attia.12 Leopoldplaats (2000)
Since its founding in 1999, non-profit Objectif Exhibitions has stayed true to its original concept, which is to offer a small, flexible space that operates at the edges of contemporary art, with an eclectic programme and a prolific number of shows per year. Every four years the artistic director changes and it is currently headed by Geneva-born Antony Hudek. Former director Chris Fitzpatrick stated, “I try to organise the shows in a way that they overlap with each other in order to create conversations between different artists,” he explains. Objectif Exhibitions is open to all genres and practices, and one of its most recent shows included a revisit of Antwerp local Paul Hendrikse’s installation project The Ideal Form.7–9/26 Kleine Markt (2000)
When SECONDroom first appeared in September 2006, it was located in a spare room of co-founder Christophe Floré’s Brussels house. He eventually moved to Antwerp and took the concept with him. Now, he and his colleagues organise shows at a rate of about one a week. It’s an unusually high frequency, and they’ve clocked hundreds of exhibitions to date. “Our motto is: cut the crap,” says Christophe. Visitors can only see the artworks for about three hours at the opening reception, which is also the closing event. Exhibited artists range from emerging to established.30 Terlinckstraat (2600)