Matteo Lucchetti, Guest Curator, Brussels Gallery Weekend 2016
Matteo Lucchetti is the guest curator of Brussels Gallery Weekend this year, presenting an ambitious project known as the “Dispersed Museum”.
Brussels Gallery Weekend, f.k.a., Brussels Art Days, is officially in full swing, following a successful opening last night. The events and programming continue through the weekend — with most of the exhibitions continuing through the month — at dozens of galleries, museums, and other venues throughout the city.
Matteo Lucchetti serves as guest curator this year, presenting an ambitious project known as the “Dispersed Museum”, in which various galleries and spaces as a single entity: an imaginary museum of contemporary art. Thus, the new BGW website is more than just an updated identity, with adding an interactive layer to the BGW experience, allowing users to select keywords to generate custom routes throughout the Dispersed Museum.
Lucchetti will present the project in a talk at KVS Brussels City Theatre on Saturday, September 10, at 10am. Among the guests at the round table, Kadist Art Foundation International Director Joseph Del Pesco will reflect on “the role of the museum in our contemporary times”.
We had the chance to speak with Lucchetti about the “Dispersed Museum” and Brussels in general.
TL Magazine: Let’s start with some background information. How did you get involved with Brussels Gallery Weekend?
Matteo Lucchetti: I was invited by the BGW organization to contribute to this edition as the 2016 guest curator. The previous year it was the first time they had this collaboration, in a smaller scale, on the program and this year they were interested in challenging the format of the weekend with the vision of an external guest. I was really flattered by the proposal and not being a big expert of art fairs and galleries I thought I could bring some unexpected take on the weekend.
TL Magazine: How does BGW offer a unique platform for “The Dispersed Museum”?
ML: “The Dispersed Museum” is something I conceived expressly for the BGW, as I thought it was a way to highlight the incredible artistic offer from galleries and institutions in town in the form of an invisible museum operating in an anonymous and dispersed way. They say the common good can rise when private and public interests meet, and perhaps “The Dispersed Museum” is a way to visualize this. Through the hashtags system, three curated tours and a general talk on Saturday morning, September 10, at 10am at the KVS, when every player or spectator will be able to contribute to the shaping of a collective act of imagination on what a future non-dispersed central museum for contemporary art could do for Brussels and its vibrant art scene.
TL Magazine: Can you speak generally about Brussels’ art community?
ML: If I can attempt in giving some general ideas about it, I would frame it as a dispersed community itself. I live here for four years now and I love the feeling of readiness and possibility you can still breath. It’s like if the majority of the people is always on the move, living nomadically here and therefore keeping themselves open and ready to meet and share with others when the occasion arise. There is that kind of solidarity that only small places or shared strong life experiences offer you. Even if many people belonging to the Brussels’ art community don’t spend all their time here, the city is so small that you can’t avoid bumping into a colleague or a friend even when you’re out shopping for groceries. Time is little, work schedules are hectic but collaborations keep happening and that’s the magic of that grey air full of possibilities that keeps attracting newcomers.
TL Magazine: I understand that the Brussels Gallery Weekend website is also intended to reflect your curatorial vision — can you speak about this digital layer of the theme, “The Dispersed Museum”?
ML: My curatorial vision is just an act of translation of what is already there and can be read anew through a different perspective. The hashtag system is the tool through which we are able to make the idea of the dispersed museum tangible. Every gallery is linked to a set of hashtags describing synthetically what they have on show (media and content wise). By following the #painting hashtag, for instance, the audience will be able to visualize on the map all the galleries displaying paintings and therefore access a huge un-curated show, dispersed in many disparate spots, which deals with the many different ways of understanding painting today. This is not just to highlight the richness of the Brussels’ art scene, but also to facilitate the access for the audience to the contents of the BGW and its ‘dispersed museum’.
TL Magazine: Are you looking forward to any particular events or exhibitions during BGW?
ML: It’s really difficult to pick one but I’m really looking forward to those shows presenting a whole new production by an artist, such as La Loge presenting Sven Augustijnen, Marie Laure Fleisch with Giuseppe Stampone, Harlan Levey with Haseeb Ahmed and many others. Parallel to that a lot of masters will be on show: Paul McCarthy (Xavier Hufkens), Marcel Broodthaers (Albert Baronian), Mimmo Jodice (Greta Meer), Karel Appel (Rodolphe Janssen), to name a few. I particularly have high expectations for the Helena Almeida show at Wiels, as I fell in love with her work last summer on a visit to Lisbon. I have also penned one of the three curated tours available on the website, together with my dear colleagues Anne-Claire Schmitz and Sonia Dermience.
TL Magazine: And are you looking to continue or evolve this project after it has run its course during BGW? In other words, is the “The Dispersed Museum” intended to take on new and different forms?
ML: If “The Dispersed Museum” could have a future past the BGW, it could be as a platform where the art community of Brussels can continue sharing ideas, visions, and perspectives over the upcoming contemporary art museum of Brussels. We all know it’s in the making, the location is almost certain, but what purposes this museum will really serve and how it could connect to the real needs and aspirations of the local art scene is still uncertain. The role of the museum, especially the one of contemporary art, is drastically changing, following the developments of the roles of art in our society, and it’s time to make the process around the foundation of a new public institution as participative as possible. I therefore stress my invitation to “The Dispersed Museum” talk on Saturday, September 10 at KVS at 10am, to contribute to this alive debate, with Joseph Del Pesco (Kadist Art Foundation International director) as a special guest.