Art as Experience

The Foundation has launched a research and experimentation project to explore the conditions that enable a transformative aesthetic experience. The inquiry will span ancient, modern, and contemporary creation, from the visual arts to music and sound.

We have initiated the project with the following questions:

How does an encounter with a work of art – an individual experience in itself – create a possibility of relating and attuning to others?

How can our rich and complex cultural heritages offer foundations for shared symbolic worlds in our increasingly diverse societies?

How can the critical examination of difficult pasts lead not to separations and mutual amputations, but to possibilities of thinking together?

Can an emotional and sensible understanding offer stronger and more inclusive insights into what brings us together and what drives us apart?

Finally, do our gallery education and mediation practices fully consider the cognitive and empathic potential of the aesthetic experience?

These questions were submitted to two major cultural institutions: the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Pompidou Center in Paris.

Together with their educational teams, we started to reflect on concrete and experimental projects that could generate possible responses to these questions. Two distinct but complementary projects have been designed as a result, each with a specific focus and several overarching concerns.

More information about these projects will be shared soon.