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This Summer at Muhka

Anyone thinking of summer envisions pavement cafes, camping, seaside holidays, and… museums. Beyond offering a place to cool off and a roof terrace, the Muhka has much to offer this season. The focus is on two subjects with an almost equally high appeal: animals and Antwerp artists. The ground floor is dedicated to the latter. In the large exhibition space on the second floor, we showcase the work of contemporary artists who explore what it means to be an animal and whether humans are elevated above all other living organisms. Fortunately, M HKAFE’s menu features cocktails this summer, providing the perfect accompaniment to such philosophical musings. There is something for everyone, as this brief programme overview will demonstrate:

The Lives of Animals
8 Jun – 22 Sep 2024

Anyone discussing animals is entering popular but very complex territory. Humans and animals have lived side by side for ages, but the way we relate to each other is certainly evolving. The Lives of Animals collects the work of around 30 artists who explore this subject through visual art. The title of the exhibition refers to J.M. Coetzee’s fiction-critical novel The Lives of Animals (1999). Central to the exhibition is the work of Lin May Saeed (1973-2023), who dedicated her artistic practice entirely to themes such as animal liberation, domestication, and coexistence. In The Lives of Animals animals take the lead role, presented through a variety of media including painting, sculpture, multimedia, and audio art. Discover the participating artists and the sound space here.

Sue Coe, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop, 2020. © Sue Coe. Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, NY.
Lin May Saeed, The Liberation of Animals from their Cages XVIII/Olifant gate, 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Günzel Courtesy: “Estate Lin May Saeed”, Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt/Main

On the occasion of the exhibition, we invite owners and their pets to explore M HKA’s animal friendliness (stay tuned…). We also ask experts in the field to share their knowledge publicly. We offer tailor-made tours for people with mental disabilities, dementia, or visual impairments. Additionally, there will be a Museum Night on the first Saturday in August, with games and entertainment entirely devoted to the animal world. During Antwerp Pride, we will focus on (animal) liberation. Finally, during the annual festival DAKkan, an animal-friendly market will be organised on our roof terrace, featuring vegan tastings and work by animal-friendly creators.

The City Collection: In/Sight
17 May 2024 – 12 Jan 2025

Antwerp is widely known for its contemporary art scene. With artists, galleries, and artistic initiatives that resonate internationally, the city has been a magnet for artists from all over the world for many years. With the collection presentation The City Collection: In/Sight the Muhka highlights artists who are considered important references, specifically focusing on those who play a prominent role within the Antwerp gallery scene. This exhibition is a follow-up to The City Collection Antwerp a project initiated by the city of Antwerp in 2021. It is the second part of a lively tribute to the artists who bring colour to the city. By the way, did you know that you can always visit this presentation for free? Discover the participating artists here.

© Evenbeeld
© Evenbeeld

Vedran Kopljar (& ouders) — MEAN
17 May – 8 Sep 2024

Also from Antwerp is artist Vedran Kopljar, whose work is on display in Muhka’s IN SITU space. In his practice, which includes paintings, videos, performances, and written works, Kopljar continually searches for forms of meaning. In his first museum exhibition, Kopljar plays with space as a closed circuit. The coherence between the works seems logical, sometimes contradictory, but never conclusive.

On Thursday evening, 27 June, during M HKA Late, Vedran Kopljar will take the stage in the M HKA auditorium as part of FRONT ROW, a series of artist talks organised by M HKA and the NICC.

Vedran Kopljar © Evenbeeld

And there’s more

Fifty years after Art Systems in Latin America first set foot in Antwerp, Muhka devotes an archive presentation to this landmark exhibition. It travelled from Antwerp, Brussels, London, and Paris to Ferrara in the years 1974-75, showcasing unseen contemporary Latin American art.

During the summer months, you can visit the sixth floor for an artistic exploration of a fresh theme. With the exhibition Appel. An Introduction (over and over and once again) Antje Majewski and Pawel Freisler transform the space into a captivating installation dedicated to apples. The relationship between the fruit, humans, and the wider ecosystem is creatively highlighted. In the M HKAFE, you can order local cider for the occasion.

Finally, in the INBOX space, artist Bie Jambé will present a video installation in July. In Repeat ON Reverse ON Repeat OFF Reverse OFF Jambé explores her memories of compulsions she performed as a child.

Bie Jambé, Repeat ON Reverse ON Repeat OFF Reverse OFF

M HKA Family

An exhibition about animals is a must-see for families, and at M HKA, we love to welcome families with a variety of activities during the summer months:

  • M HKADEE Toddler Tours: With their grabby fingers and curious minds, toddlers often find museums challenging. That’s why we’ve developed a tailor-made tour for children aged 1.5 to 4. These tours will be available on Sundays, 14 July and 11 August. Book your tickets here.
  • Holiday Workshops: During the first and last week of the summer holidays, children from third kindergarten to sixth grade can join our summer camp. Together we will roar, bark, scratch, and claw, creating a lot of fun in an arty environment for up to five days. Discover the holiday workshops.
  • The Salon: The Salon is always open for young visitors, but on Sundays between 2pm and 4pm, a host or hostess will welcome them for creative activities, allowing them to playfully experiment with art and the museum.

Of course, we also cater to adult visitors. We organise a monthly avant-garde walk, taking you in and around M HKA. Plus, our hugely popular weekly tours of the Panamarenko House are perfect for early bookers!

For a more relaxed experience, settle down on the roof terrace of M HKAFE, enjoy a delicious drink, fresh salad or roll, and the presence of artworks by James Turrell and Keith Haring. Or, take a seat in De Cinema, our film operation housed in De Studio in the heart of Antwerp. Here, masterpieces of film history and contemporary cinema are scheduled daily.