Monopolis – Antwerp

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is presenting the exhibition Monopolis - Antwerp from 10 September through 6 November, 2005. Prior to the opening on Friday, 9 September, there is a debate with key figures from Antwerp’s and Rotterdam’s art and cultural sectors.


Eric Antonis, Bart De Baere, Sjarel Ex, and Bert van Meggelen.

Panel chairmen

Hans Maarten van den Brink and Rutger Wolfson

The debate will be divided into two sessions. Hans Maarten van den Brink will lead a discussion with Eric Antonis, who was the artistic director of Antwerp Cultural Capital of Europe (1993) and former alderman for culture of the City of Antwerp, and Bert van Meggelen, who was the artistic director of Rotterdam Cultural Capital of Europe (2001), about the power and impotence of art in relation to the city. Can investment in culture have a beneficial effect on the social and political climate, too ? or is that influence grossly overestimated?
Rutger Wolfson, Director of De Vleeshal in Middelburg, will pay particular attention to the role of the museum in his discussion with Sjarel Ex, Director of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Bart de Baere, Director of the MuHKA, Antwerp. Should museums be servile or pro-active? Should they focus on a broad public or on (the shaping of) the élite? Should they be locally or internationally orientated? In other words, how does museum policy relate to city profiles?

A free magazine has been published to accompany the exhibition and to serve as inspiration for the debate. Besides serving as the exhibition catalogue, this magazine includes topical contributions by Jeroen Olyslaegers, Ramsey Nasr, Vivian Liska, and Marc Holthof.

The official opening of Monopolis-Antwerp follows directly after the debate, with a performance by Building Transmissions (Antwerp) at 7:00 p.m.

During the weekend of 9 – 10 September, Witte de With will remain open until 11:00 p.m. in the context of The World of Witte de With Festival.



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