Francis Alÿs, “A Story of Deception,” 2010. Exhibition view at WIELS, Brussels. Photo: Filip Van Zieleghem
In the heart of Europe, WIELS constitutes a unique contemporary art institution with remarkable architecture. It is an international laboratory for the creation and diffusion of contemporary art. Focusing on visual arts, but granting particular attention to the crossings and interactions with other disciplines, the center wishes to present contemporary art in all its diversity and to offer a permanent dialogue with recent developments in the art world.
Established through the commitment of a private, nonprofit association, WIELS is neither a museum nor a kunsthalle, but an institution that articulates a set of complementary functions (exhibition, production, and education). Within a dynamic and open context, the center thus presents temporary activities without developing a permanent collection. Activities include several yearly, large-scale exhibitions of national and international artists, which closely examine the evolution of the contemporary creation; an international artist-in-residency program that focuses on innovation, research, creation, and advancement; and a mediation and education program through didactic workshops or seminars for youths, seniors, schools, the neighborhood, etc.
The program is strengthened by a series of parallel activities (conferences, debates, exchanges, workshops, community programs, and interdisciplinary confrontations) that make it an innovating and experimental art center.