Wesley Meuris

Verticality – Is the Museum a Spaceship

Public commissions
Research on exhibitions platforms
Digital display (alternative space, covid measures), Support by Flanders/State of the Art

What are we to make of the analogy between the museum, created to preserve and display collections of artworks, and space habitats, designed to preserve, at all costs, life in the most hostile environment of all, i.e. space? We could begin by identifying formal similarities, the sequence of modular spaces plugged into one another (in the case of space stations) inevitably calling to mind the suite of multipurpose rooms decorated with works of art (project room, permanent exhibition, mediation room, etc.). We could compare the visual and informational density of museum spaces – their saturation or, on the contrary, the emptiness prevailing in them – to the technical saturation that can be observed in the images documenting the various space missions. We could even think of astro-, cosmo- and spationauts as curators since they display on the walls of these habitats pictures and objects whose value may be emotional and personal – such as a souvenir of the Earth and those left behind – or, on the contrary, public and even political – like the photos of Russian dignitaries that adorned the first Salyut stations. But if we pursue the analogy, two stories above all end up being superimposed on one another, that of infinite extraterrestrial space, which we have only just begun to explore, and that of a very specific and perfectly delimited terrestrial space, which we walk around physically and where we can come into contact with works of art: the exhibition space. (Jill Gasparina)


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