Wesley Meuris

The Seduction of the Bureaucrat

wesley meuris


The Seduction of the Bureaucrat is a project that sheds light on an unlikely relationship: that between art and bureaucracy. Creativity is not usually consistent with forms, procedures and protocols. The artist and the civil servant or manager, they are far apart, each in their own biotope: the studio and the office. Yet they can hardly do without each other. Every professional artist is busy with administration, and the cultural sector also benefits from sound, incisive policies. Curator Pieter Vermeulen invites about 20 visual artists to ask how they look at bureaucracy and how they deal with it in their work. Does bureaucracy constrain creativity, or does mastery only show itself in limitation? Do Kafkaesque situations still occur in shadowy back rooms and dusty archives, or does today’s office space look different? What is the impact of technology? What does Bartleby’s “I would prefer not to” still mean in a current work ethic of quiet quitting, bore- and burnout? Is creativity still relevant in a country where even accounting is creative? And is it up to the artist to woo the bureaucrat, or to resist the temptation of bureaucracy himself? The title of the exhibition is an allusion to a 1983 essay by artist AA Bronson, who describes the emergence of artists’ initiatives in Canada as “the humiliation of the bureaucrat.” Some 30 years later, however, he publishes another essay in which he expresses his disappointment with the institutionalization of these same initiatives and with the artists involved who have in turn become bureaucrats themselves. How do we reconcile institutional routine with charisma, and what role can artists play in this? In what ways do we make more space for contemporary art, and how to increase public engagement? These are just some of the questions that will guide a series of public conversations throughout the month of May.

Traces of Histories

wesley meuris


Following the recent restoration and beautification works at City Hall, a subtle but enriching artistic intervention was made by Wesley Meuris. The work is entitled TRACES of HISTORIES. Traces of Histories appeals to the imagined ‘history’, be it by referring to its physical absence, narrative void or uprooted historical narrative.  The design does not seek to be a replacement or contemporary replica of the original, nor does it intend to constitute an abstraction or conceptualisation of what the coat of arms stands for.  Rather, this work encourages reflection on heritage and its presence or absence in public space.


Le Pouvoir du Langage – Le Langage du Pouvoir


Le Pouvoir du Langage – Le Langage du Pouvoir is an exhibition about the singular relationship that the artists can have with the text, writing and language.
Beyond a fast reading, the works presented here offer above all an experience, since they borrow the form of the text, of the story, but also of the speech, of the harangue or of the prosopopoeia for different purposes. Each one of the artists maintains a distinct relationship with the language. The artists deploy a critical content proposing a statement or an invitation given to be read in epistolary form, under the form of the rhetoric or declamation, under the one of political slogans or in the form of aphorisms. With the exceptional participation of the American artist Jenny Holzer, the exhibition brings together four other artists: Alex Cecchetti, Benny Nemer, Wesley Meuris, Antoni Muntadas

mfc-michèle didier

Fiat Lux




VUB – Pilar Brussels BE, in collaboration with HISK, curator Em. Prof. Dr. Willem Elias

Fiat Lux takes a look at the Enlightenment of which the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a child. Willem Elias selected 28 alumni of the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK) whom he got to know as chairman and continued to meet afterwards. The work they present approaches “Enlightenment” in the broadest sense of the term. From an ode to free thought to questioning rational thinking: the artworks offer insight into the dialectic between darkness and enlightenment. “Du choc des idées jaillit la lumière!” Fiat Lux creates a context for aesthetic wonder and stimulates the critical mind.

Participating artists: Ariane Loze (HISK laureate 2017), Arno Roncada (HISK laureate 2005), Charif Benhelima (HISK laureate 1998), Charlotte Lybeer (HISK laureate 2005), Cindy Wright (HISK laureate 2006), Colin Waeghe (HISK laureate 2010), Dries Boutsen (HISK laureate 2021), Katya Ev (HISK laureate 2020), Elias Ghekiere (HISK laureate 2017), Fia Cielen (HISK laureate 2008), Francis Denys (HISK laureate 1999), Frederik Van Simaey (HISK laureate 2009), Joke Raes (HISK laureate 2016), Jonathan Paepens (HISK laureate 2017), Joris Van de Moortel (HISK laureate 2009), Kasper De Vos (HISK laureate 2017), Koen van den Broek (HISK laureate 2000), Lieven Paelinck (HISK laureate 2001), Merlin Spie (HISK laureate 2000), Mike Carremans (HISK laureate 2009), Nadia Naveau (HISK laureate 2001), Nicolas Provost (HISK laureate 2005), Peter de Cupere (HISK laureate 1999), Peter Weidenbaum (HISK laureate 1999), Renato Nicolodi (HISK laureate 2007), Roel Heremans (HISK laureate 2019), Tom Woestenborghs (HISK laureate 2005), Wesley Meuris (HISK laureate 2005)


To request a guided group visit, send an e-mail to bjorne.baeten@outlook.com





Wednesday 17th November, 6pm: opening

Saturday 11th December, 3pm: guided tour and artist talk between Wesley Meuris & Pieter Vermeulen, followed by a reception.
Please RSVP before Monday, Dec 6th by sending an e-mail to pieter.vermeulen@pxl.be


Today, space travel is all over the news. Cosmic space has always appealed to the imagination of writers and artists, but it is only since the middle of the last century that it has become the scene of a political space race. Recently, private players have joined the action, bringing space tourism and planetary exploration ever more within human reach.
Aside from the ethical and legal questions raised by these developments, the visualisation and mapping of space has become an ingenious technological issue.

In his solo project Probes, Wesley Meuris draws on his fascination with the way in which cutting-edge technology has become an extension of our human concept of space, while at the same time radically altering it. It seems that our conception of the cosmos today is increasingly technologically mediated by ingenious devices such as satellites, drones and robotic vehicles. How can we incorporate the technoscientific complexity of these devices and their data into an artistic and critical perspective? Probes aims to shed light on the optical mechanisms that transcend our human and even planetary perspective, partly out of a sense of wonder but also out of a desire for rethinking or reorientation. Probes is looking at the future, but also harks back historically to the first space explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. For KRIEG, Wesley Meuris will be creating a “critical scenography”, which will integrate various elements of his artistic practice and incorporate public activities.

Wesley Meuris (b.1977) is a visual artist based in Antwerp. He is conducting visual research into the functioning of exhibition mechanisms and the production and presentation of scientific knowledge. In the past year, he has expanded his oeuvre to include a new chapter, which has previously led to the exhibition Verticality (Annie Gentils Gallery, 2020) and an eponymous publication (2021).

Meuris studied Sculpture at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels and attended the post-academic programme HISK in Antwerp. In 2017 he obtained a PhD in the arts at Sint Lucas Antwerp and University of Antwerp. Currently he conducts a postdoctoral research and is tutor at the Advanced Master in Sint Lucas Antwerp. Wesley Meuris’ work has been exhibited in several exhibitions and individual installations at SMAK in Ghent (2020), Centre Pompidou (2018), Musée des Arts Contemporains du Grand Hornu (2017), WIELS in Brussels (2017), Kunsthalle in Vienna (2016), Confort Moderne in Poitiers (2016), ISCP in Brooklyn (2016), Mu Zee in Ostend (2015), BF15 in Lyon (2014), Kunsthalle Rotterdam (2014), Casino Luxembourg forum d’art Contemporain (2012), M HKA in Antwerp (2010), De Bond in Bruges (2010), Fresnoy in Tourcoing (2010), MAMAC in Liège (2010), Art & Essai Galerie in Rennes (2010).


Abstract kunst bestaat niet


Einde jaren 1980. De Canadese kunstenaar Royden Rabinowitch is te gast in Museum Sztuki te Łódź, Polen. Wanneer directeur Ryszard Stanisławski de term “geometric abstract art” in de mond neemt, riposteert Rabinowitch: “But Mr Stanisławski, there is no such thing as geometric abstract art.” Er volgt een ietwat ongemakkelijke stilte. Dan keert de directeur zich naar de kunstenaar en vraagt: “How do you know that?”

Curator: Frank Maes

Deelnemende kunstenaars:
Kathelijne Adriaensen, Franz Anaïs, Amélie Bouvier, Werner Cuvelier, Dieter Daemen, Frans De Medts, Vincent de Roder, Kamiel De Waal, Jerry Galle, Loek Grootjans, Nathalie Guilmot, Pepa Ivanova, Emi Kodama & Elias Heuninck, Rebekka Löffler, AnneMarie Maes, Rosa Menkman, Wesley Meuris, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Hilde Overbergh, Royden Rabinowitch, Stéphanie Roland, Sigrid Tanghe, Ane Vester, Sarah Westphal, Michael John Whelan



Verticality presentation

wesley meuris



Vlaanderen_verbeelding werkt


cage galago 3

De expositie toon werk van Alexi Williams Wynn (VK), Carsten Höller (BE), Chaim van Luit (NL), Filip Van Dingenen (BE), Guy Slabbinck (BE), Katleen Vinck (BE), Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE), Maya Zack (IL), Nick Ervinck (BE), Shikh Sabbir Alam (BD), Tom Liekens (BE) en Wesley Meuris (BE). Zoology wordt gecureerd door Benedict Vandaele in samenwerking met Stichting Liedts-Meesen.


Bye Bye His-Story, Chapter 5050



History is generally defined with the apparition of writing; this valuable instrument allowing to create and transfer culture. However, writing also implies the beginning of a logic of sepa-rations and boundaries : its origin goes along in the first place with the need to record the heritage transmission of a patriar-chal agrarian society. From this perspective, writing thus seems closely related to the concept of ‘property’. Together with property, writing, as the first intrument to objec-tify nature, living beings and genders, was at the root of what would – throughout history – lead to conflicts and confrontations between cultures, mythologies, religions and ideologies. The tensions in our contemporary world and its many crises (related to climate, ideologies, energy, culture and migration) urge us to adopt an open attitude, to dispel prejudices, to reconnect and build bridges between individuals, genders, cultures and nations to share knowledge, mental and cultural approaches as well as scientific disciplines, in order to find solutions together. Far from being a literal illustration of these concepts, this exhibition brings together the art works of nearly 60 artists. With a touch of humor and the necessary aesthetic distance, you are being invited to surprising confrontations between art works dealing with (and questioning) various issues such as our relationship to the economy and to the dogma of growth, gender relations and diversity, our relationship to nature and to technology.

Curated by: Emmanuel Lambion



L’ enseigne