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Exhibition at Kunsthal Rotterdam features a hundred miniature museum rooms
Miniature Olfactory Lab , Peter de Cupere, 2011, 1000 x 650 x 600 mm.

ROTTERDAM.- The Kunsthal Rotterdam acts big with the exhibition ‘Museum to Scale 1/7’, featuring a hundred miniature museum rooms in which presentations by Belgian artists and of artistic movements in the 20th and 21st centuries can be seen. ‘Museum to Scale 1/7’ is an initiative by Belgian gallery owner Ronny Van de Velde. Van de Velde invited more than a hundred Belgian artists to display their work in miniature rooms of 1.00 x 0.65 x 0.60 metres, to a scale of 1/7. In addition to a number of thematic rooms, including rooms about symbolism, surrealism, photography, the Cobra movement and avant garde, contemporary artists have each created their own room. Participating artists are Jan Fabre, Koen Vanmechelen, Jan de Cock, Luc Tuymans, Ann Veronica Janssens, Peter de Cupere, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Panamarenko and many others. ‘Museum to Scale 1/7’ is a rich encounter with Belgian art, which excites the imagination and senses.

The museum as subject and object
The compressed exhibition is a collection of a hundred different ‘cabinets of wonder’ – an exhibition within an exhibition – which, to scale, consists of many more virtual square metres than the Kunsthal actually has. In artist Wesley Meuris’ exhibition design, the visitor experiences first and foremost the most important objective of every museum: the collection and the revelation of art, by presenting it in the space for which it was intended. With a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s famous work ‘Boît-en- valise’ from 1936 (a portable museum with miniaturised reproductions of his work), the exhibition launches the ultimate mini exhibitions in every room, with only a single curator, the artist him/herself.

100 Belgian artists
Alongside more classical museum presentations, the exhibition offers an interesting playing field for the artists. Thanks to the enormous diversity of works – from paintings to sculptures to installations – the space for art in these miniature rooms is stretched both literally and figuratively. For example, Jan Fabre has a leg made of brains coming straight through the roof and the walls of his museum room, while Peter de Cupere’s miniature fragrance laboratory really smells of oils, and Philip de Gobert composes in his exhibition room his own architectonic space of another imaginary museum. The large collection of small original works makes the visitor think about the role of scale and size in art, about the distance between idea and execution, and about the changing status and presentation of works of art.

Audience participation
The interactive website is part of the exhibition, by means of which visitors can share their favourite museum. ‘Museum to Scale 1/7’ fits within the series of Kunsthal projects such as ‘Museum Minutes’ and ‘MaakMee’ (‘Co-Create’), in which one zooms in on the professional field of presenting exhibitions, and on the question of what a different manner of presentation can add to the audience’s experience.

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