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Contemporary art is a source of insight and a gateway to the multipolar world of today. In its collection policy plan of 2013, the M HKA described in detail how the collection is largely rooted in its own art scene, particularly in post-war avant-garde in Antwerp and Flanders. This avant-garde past is also used as a platform to view today’s multipolar world.

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In this respect, three approaches have been adopted, which are also enshrined in the history of creating collections:

  • the image (different approaches to the still and moving image, but also thinking about the image that is particular to artists, such as Luc Tuymans, David Claerbout or Yang Fudong ),
  • the action (performance art in a narrower sense, but also art as ‘performative’ practice with the ability to change reality, in Antwerp starting with the events in the 1960s),
  • the society (politically and socially engaged art, but also art that reflects more indirectly its broader context, as is the case with artists, such as Jef Geys, Jimmie Durham or Allan Sekula).

The collection of the M HKA includes many works by artists who can easily be categorised under two or three of these angles. Image, action and society can also be seen as the three axes that define a space together: each performative artwork will have an image quality, an image always has a performative dimension and each work of art has social potential. This positioning affords the M HKA specificity and complementarity in respect of other museums in Flanders and the surrounding region.