The Real ‘Mu.ZEE imaginaire’
Throughout 2016, Patrick Corillon will be making interventions in the collection displays of Mu.Zee. Four consecutive exhibitions, one per season, will forge links with the museum’s project to establish a strong dialogue between the collection, exhibitions and memory research. Using the collection as a source of inspiration, the artist will invite the visitor to step inside his narrative universe, where works from Mu.ZEE and stories from his imaginary museum intersect. Each exhibition is presented in four languages and will be accompanied by artistic events that take place both inside and outside the walls of Mu.ZEE. As the seasons unfold, the virtual Oskar Serti museum, narrative performances and publications will all add weight to Patrick Corillon’s interventions.
Oskar Serti in Ostend
The first part of the collection display will illuminate the unusual historical context of Ostend during the interwar period. During this epoch, the city welcomed a group of writers who were trying to escape the rise of Nazism in Germany. Among them were Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth and Arthur Koestler, but also a certain Oskar Serti, a modest writer who forged strong ties with the city’s cultural life and museum. The works selected from the collection, and the manner in which they are displayed, will not only reflect this exceptional period but also address different topics, including the question of modernity. This instalment will also be an opportunity to explore the Oskar Serti Museum, the exhibits of which will be unveiled every Wednesday in the MAD supplement to the newspaper Le Soir, and on the website.
The Floating Images
The second part will be devoted to the sensuality of images and to the pictorial, with the emphasis placed on bringing our relationship with colours to the fore. It is an invitation to dive into the splendour of images. The exhibition will also be dedicated to the depiction of flowers within the collection.
Even though the phenomenon is invisible to the naked eye, certain paintings possess a unique radiance and are surrounded by a cloud of miniscule, coloured particles. Lovers of painting are usually covered in them, as a result of their close proximity to such works. Occasionally, the particles are scattered far and wide through the excited and animated gestures they make when describing the latest masterpiece to their friends.
(From the book: The Floating Images)
This instalment will be accompanied by the narrative performance entitled The Floating Images – 60 minutes to get back inside frame. This performance, which is in both Dutch and French, will initially take place within the museum galleries, before being shown at other venues in Belgium.
Inspired by certain museological issues, the third part will reflect upon exhibition installations. Ranging from the nail that literally ‘supports’ the painting to the white walls of exhibitions, and from the route devised by the curator to the gaze of the spectators, Pure White dwells upon a fundamental question: to what extent is the exhibition a ‘carrier’ of meaning?
The amazing story of a Scandinavian community of artists-artisans who, over the course of centuries, acquired incomparable knowledge about cold colours and recently began to specialise in the painting of exhibition walls in museums. The peculiarity of this painting community lies in the fact that the members tell stories while working. These tales not only lend rhythm to their gestures, but also help them to organise their time efficiently.
(From: Absolute Zero)
The narrative performance Absolute Zero – 60 minutes to bridges the divide takes a unique look at the artworks on display in the galleries. Performed in both Dutch and French, it will later be shown at other venues in Belgium.
In the Heart of the Port
The fourth and final part of The Real ‘Mu.ZEE imaginaire’ will focus on the formation of the Mu.ZEE collection in Ostend, and hence on the choices made by the curators since its inception (in 1885 and 1957 respectively for collections of the Museum of Fine Arts of Ostend and the Province; in 1893 for the inauguration of the Museum of Fine Arts and in 1986 for that of the PMMK). It will demonstrate that a museum is not only a shrine to masterpieces but, first and foremost, a reflection of each period in its history. This chapter will provide an occasion to reflect upon the city of Ostend itself. Thus, the viewer will be able to walk around a reconstituted imaginary hotel that is permeated with the memories of sailors and painters. The city as a major port will be revealed through a collection of ex-votos associated with seafarers. This is linked with the performance entitled The Wave House. Dedicated to the lives of sailors, their histories and their songs, the event takes place at the Grote Post