Exhibition Histories

Bart de Baere

  • Installation view showing work by Anne Decock. ‘This is the show and the show is many things’, S.M.A.K., Ghent 1994. Image courtesy S.M.A.K., Ghent.

    Installation view showing work by Anne Decock. ‘This is the show and the show is many things’, S.M.A.K., Ghent 1994. Image courtesy S.M.A.K., Ghent.

Past Event


This event was on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 7pm

Curator Bart de Baere will be in conversation with Charles Esche, discussing his 1994 exhibition This is the show and the show is many things at S.M.A.K in Gent. Variously described as a fun palace, a warehouse and a wasteland, the experimental show was an exploration into process, collaboration, and whimsy.

Organised in partnership with Afterall, Exhibition Histories is a regular series of talks at the Whitechapel Gallery focusing on contemporary art exhibitions from the past fifty years that have changed the way art is seen and made.

The series is inspired by the Exhibition Histories books developed by Afterall, and published in association with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

In association with Afterall.

About Bart de Baere

Bart De Baere is director of M HKA in Antwerp, the contemporary art museum of the Flemish Community in Belgium. Since its merger with the Centre for Visual Culture in 2003, M HKA is also active within visual culture at large. It calls itself a ‘Eurasian museum’, advocating for a greater European openness towards Asia, that vast island of which Europe is only a peninsula. M HKA grounds itself in the avant-garde of the period after the Second World War, for which the city of Antwerp was an important hub. This allows us to be open to the multipolar world of today.

Previously, Bart De Baere was President of the Flemish Cultural Council. He worked as an advisor for cultural heritage and contemporary art to the Flemish Minister of Culture, rewriting the legislation for those domains. He was also President of the Flemish Council for Museums.

From 1986 until 2001, De Baere was second in command at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, then directed by Jan Hoet, where he curated numerous exhibitions, notably ‘This is the show and the show is many things’ in 1994. He was also one of the curators of Documenta IX in Kassel (Germany), a consultant for the city of Johannesburg involved in establishing its first biennial, a member of the International Advisory Council for the network of Soros Institutes for contemporary art in Eastern Europe, a co-founder of the Brussels Kunsthalle ‘Wiels’, and curator of the 2015 Moscow biennial.

Bart De Baere has written and published extensively on art and on institutional issues.

About Charles Esche

Charles Esche is a curator and writer. He is director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and co-editorial director and co-founder with Mark Lewis of Afterall Journal and Books based at Central St. Martins, London. In 2014 he curated the Sao Paulo Biennale with a team of seven. In addition to his institutional curating, he has (co-) curated a number of major international exhibitions including U3 Triennale, Ljubljana (2011); Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah with Reem Fadda (2007 & 2009); Istanbul Biennale with Vasif Kortun (2005); Gwangju Biennale with Hou Hanru (2002). In 2015 he was involved in the Jakarta Biennale. He is a board member of CIMAM and chair of CASCO, Utrecht, NL. In 2012 he was awarded the Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Change by the European Cultural Foundation; in 2013 the Minumum Prize by the Pistoletto Foundation and in 2014 the CCS Bard College Prize for Curatorial Excellence. He teaches at Central Saint Martins and is involved in course at the Dutch Art Institute and the Design Academy Eindhoven.

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