MISSION

Kunsthal Extra City works with contemporary visual art that leads us to reflect on topics relevant to the city of today. Art can stimulate us to better understand a changing society – or to understand it differently.
Kunsthal Extra City seeks to facilitate new connections between art, artists, researchers and city residents.
Kunsthal Extra City contributes to a broader social acceptance of the importance of artistic reflection and imagination.



VISION

Kunsthal Extra City departs from the city and connects back to it. We focus on the urban reality in all its facets as the converging point of the many challenges of the twenty-first century. Kunsthal Extra City feeds the imagination and stimulates the debate on topics relating to the city. Because we seek to add value to our environment we always work in connection with other artistic and non-artistic partners. Kunsthal Extra City creates extra thinking and breathing space in the city: not as an isolated comfort zone, but as an open space where everyone can think together about a society in transition.

Kunsthal Extra City works with contemporary visual art. We take the time to look at art in relation to society and, to this end, we work with artists who enter into an exploratory dialogue with reality that goes beyond the contemporary art world. The art Kunsthal Extra City exhibit may be complex and idiosyncratic; however, due to our concern for the city and its residents, we ensure the work remains accessible to all curious visitors. We seek the same engagement with the city in our artists, researchers and curators. We offer them a place of creative refuge in which to experiment with exhibitions, debates and other types of projects.

Kunsthal Extra City recognises its responsibility with regard to the public understanding of contemporary art. For us, the public is just as important as the art. We see our visitors as representing a rich and diverse collection of knowledge and experience. People make the city what it is and Kunsthal Extra City thus seeks to be a place where everyone feels welcome, a place where connections are enriched between city residents and artists, casual visitors and experts alike. We aim to create a context that provides interested parties with the appropriate tools to make the artistic work we exhibit their own, even when this poses challenges. Our premises in Antwerp serve as an epicentre for intercultural and interdisciplinary collaborations, which, through art, can contribute to the public’s understanding of a society in flux.


HISTORY


2004-2006
Extra City was founded in 2004 by Wim Peeters and was originally housed in a grain silo located in Antwerp's docklands. The tone was set from the start with a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, with depth and quality proving to be the firm foundations on which Extra City would be built.

2007-2010
In 2006, Anselm Franke was appointed Artistic Director, subsequently moving Extra City to a former industrial space in the North of Antwerp. More and more, Extra City was evolving in the direction of a fully-fledged art institution or 'Kunsthal', with carefully considered thematic exhibitions including 'Mimétism' and 'Animism', solo exhibitions by internationally renowned artists and a discursive programme the likes of which had been rare in Belgium.

2011-2016
Under the leadership of Mihnea Mircan, Extra City focused more on the capacity of the exhibition as a research tool, such as with the series 'Cross-Examinations' and the impressive 'Allegory of the Cave Painting', as well as solo exhibitions from artists such as Luc Deleu, Jean-Luc Moulène, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Laure Prouvost and Michael Dean. The accompagying programme also became an important platform for research.
In this period (September 2013) the Kunsthal was re-established in its current location in Antwerp Berchem. Here at the former premises of the industrial laundry business Wasserij Goossens, in addition to there being room for Extra City's exhibition spaces, there is also space for artists' ateliers, a bar and a small cinema, as well as the offices of partner organisations.

2017-now
In 2016 we embarked on a process to fundamentally reposition Extra City with regard to our mission, vision and organisational structure. Our artistic programme is now linked to a thematic focus, namely the question of how fine art can explore and reflect contemporary urban life in all its many facets. In September 2016 Adinda Van Geystelen was appointed General Director. For the period of 2017 to 2019 the artistic programme was overseen by Antonia Alampi, iLiana Fokianaki and Michiel Vandevelde. Under the leadership of Adinda Van Geystelen, it has become an ambitious and fundamental aspect of Extra City's activities to make thought-provoking contemporary art accessible to a wide audience.