Experience Traps

In the framework of “Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires”, the Middelheim Museum asked several internationally renowned artists, who work in various disciplines, to present new or existing work, inspired by the innovative ideas of Baroque landscape architecture. Experience Traps has become a collection of very diverse works, at the crossroads of architecture, sculpture, installation and performance, which will be installed in the Middelheim Museum and in various locations in the city centre.

A seductive ode to the imagination

The Middelheim Museum highlights the contemporary legacy of the Baroque in Experience Traps, more specifically the tension between nature and the artificial. Internationally renowned artists have been invited to present new or existing work, at the crossroads of architecture, sculpture, installation and performance, which was inspired by the ideas of Baroque landscape architecture and such motives as the grotto, the maze, the tableau vivant, the fountain, trompe-l’oeil...

In the heyday of the Baroque and Rococo, these constructs often were a popular, central feature in landscape design. The idea behind these elements was to change the appearance of a previously “classic” landscape in a surprising way, inspiring new experiences in visitors as well as paving the way for other forms of social contact and communication. Rationality and efficiency gave way to an ode to freedom and the imagination. Each of these motives allow us to look at “commissioned art”, that uses the location as its playing field, both in a critical and light-hearted fashion. This type of art attempts to dupe, surprise, impress or seduce the public, true to the Baroque tradition.

The park as a social space

The centuries-old park environment of the Middelheim Museum, its architecture and the collection’s development create an affinity with this Baroque motive of architectural and sculptural interventions, which increase the appeal of the landscape enhancing the encounter that takes place in it.

Experience Traps emphasises the activation of a physical and spiritual “self-experience” in the visitor, according to the artist’s precise instructions. The exhibition is a critical reflection on the contemporary experience-based society we live in, in which we expect to be entertained with unique experiences - which we prefer to share with as many people as possible.

Middelheim Museum | 01.06.2018 - 23.09.2018

John Körmeling, Artiesteningang, 2004-2012 © John Körmeling, foto: Joris Casaer


Middelheimlaan 61
+32 32 88 33 60

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