WIELS - Brussels
30 / 05 / 2015 - 09 / 08 / 2015

Artists: Béatrice Balcou, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Sébastien Bonin, Kasper Bosmans, Erika Hock, Hedwig Houben, Stephanie Kiwitt, Julien Meert, Yuki Okumura, Marina Pinsky, Marnie Slater, Leen Voet, Freek Wambacq

Curators: Devrim Bayar & Zoë Gray

Un-Scene III is a group exhibition of 13 emerging artists in or from Belgium. It presents a slice of a scene, a scan of a particular moment, and reveals the position of WIELS as an international institution firmly rooted in the Belgian landscape.

The works presented include new and existing pieces, and range across all media. The scope of ideas explored is equally broad, while certain common themes emerge. These include: the impact of digital imagery on our way of seeing and making images; an interest in beauty, craftsmanship and the decorative; the appropriation of artworks and the delegation of authorship; the evocation of an absent or dematerialised body.

The title—with its play on words suggesting both unseen and a non-scene—has perhaps a different connotation today than when employed at WIELS for the previous two editions of Un-Scene. If there remain numerous, overlapping art scenes in Belgium (still often grouped around linguistic affinities), there is also an international scene that has grown in both scale and renown over the past years. It is perhaps the very heterogeneous nature of the Belgian art world that attracts so many foreign artists, who can find pathways into this amorphous network.


This diversity is manifested in the selection of artists for Un-Scene III. Born between 1970 and 1990, they represent an extended generation, include seven different nationalities, and cannot be ascribed to one single scene.

Brussels’s cultural permeability seems to be fertile soil for creativity. The artists in Un-Scene III speak of its porosity and unpredictability, of the way the city seems to belong to nobody and everybody at the same time. Several of them are active in the “non-profit” network, establishing spaces and programming exhibitions while also producing and presenting their own work. Others use Brussels rather as a studio, as a space to think and work in relative isolation.

The curators decided to include former participants of the WIELS residency programme for the first time in Un-Scene. The residency now exists for eight years and has a growing impact on the Belgian art scene, not least because many of the international artists who come to Brussels for the residency and choose to remain here afterwards. If the context has shifted, the ambition of Un-Scene remains essentially the same: not simply to render the “invisible” visible, but to present work that challenges both its makers and its viewers.

Complementary programme:

3 June, 19h
Look who’s talking: Kasper Bosmans & Leen Voet (Dutch)

17 June, 19h
Look who’s talking: Stephanie Kiwitt & Marina Pinsky (English)

24 June, 18:30h
Untitled Ceremony #06 (2015), performance by Béatrice Balcou

27 June, 10h
Untitled Ceremony #06 (2015), performance by Béatrice Balcou

1 July, 19h
Look who’s talking: Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Sébastien Bonin, Julien Meert (French)

15 July, 19h
Look who’s talking: Béatrice Balcou, Hedwig Houben, Yuki Okumura (English)

5 August, 19h
Look who’s talking: Erika Hock, Marnie Slater, Freek Wambacq (English)


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Brussels-based designer Goda Budvytyté. Its structure embodies the curators’ conception of the show as an ensemble of individual practices. It comprises 13 booklets, held together in an institutional envelope. Each booklet features an interview with the artist and a cover conceived by the artist.

Published by WIELS in English, Dutch, French. ISBN 9789078937258.