The Brussels Map Circle

Home → Exhibitions


Access to archives

Brussels, Belgium

Organisation: Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain | Centre for art and dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures

Representation of the world is a practical and scientific necessity, both in the past and still today; one which allows us to comprehend our geography, whether it is near or distant, and which provides a source of reverie, inviting us to dream of travels and the fantastical.
The first explorers discovered unknown worlds, thus allowing their pictorial translation. The cartography was meant to be completed, filled in with details from compiled information, and according to the meaning one wished to convey. Maps indeed represent reality, but interpret it by creating an image from multiple, more or less reliable elements. Our representation of the world is constantly evolving. Current technologies render it extremely precise, helping us see the world differently. Nevertheless, this translation into a two-dimensional surface, this fattening out, is an artifice; from the moment they take shape, maps are a testament to an artistic concern which is added to their navigational function.
Contemporary artists are also captivated by world maps, which many of them reinvent and transform. The artists find each map’s potential – not only geographical but also political, poetic or utopian. The map is, to a certain extent, an inevitable form from which all sorts of geographic deviations stem, but it is also the pretext for a reflection on the state of the world, or a space for imaginary projections. It is illusion and reality all at once. Maps reinterpret a truth, and transform it. This undoubtedly explains why so many artists have showcased maps in their work, each in their own way, thus making the world flat.
Completed by a selection of ancient maps and literary translations, the exhibition brings together more than thirty contemporary artists from across the world. It is testament to the recent interest artists have developed for a revisited Mapping according to their own aesthetic research. Some have developed numerous works on this theme, such as Marcel Broodthaers and Mona Hatoum, whereas others have periodically found world maps through their research, like Alighiero Boetti with its series of Mappa, or Wim Delvoye who conceives a new installation for this exhibition, just to name a few. The exhibition reunites around a theme rich in meanings, the map being for the artists a pretext for all sorts of comments on contemporary society, power relations, ecology, conflicts, etc.
Artists: Malala Andrialavidrazana, Art and Language, Yto Barrada, Alighiero Boetti, Marcel Broodthaers, Mircea Cantor, Claude Closky, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Wim Delvoye, Erik Dietman, Éric Duyckaerts, Charles et Ray Eames, Ólafur Eliasson, Öyvind Fahlström, Philippe Favier, Luigi Ghirri, Marco Godinho, Shilpa Gupta, Andreas Gursky, Mona Hatoum, Bernard Heidsieck, Emilio Isgrò, Nelson Leirner, Sol LeWitt, Cristina Lucas, Rudi Mantofani, Vik Muniz, Aung Myint, Iván Navarro, Rivane Neuenschwander, Marwan Rechmaoui, David Renaud, Chéri Samba, Qiu Zhijie.
Venue: Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67 B, 1050 Brussels
Time schedule: Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-18.00

La Jolla, USA

Organisation: Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla

In the Museum’s permanent exhibition are maps ranging from a copy of the 1472 T-O Map by Isadore of Seville, generally considered to be the first printed map, to a delightful colored 1958 Tourist Map of Southern California with the charming name of Roads to Romance.
The Museum’s main hall is divided into sections that show maps categorized by Exploration, Colonization, California as an Island and Sea Charts. There are also galleries set aside for maps of Europe, Celestial, Holy Land, Africa and Asia. Display cases in both the main hall and galleries contain many rare atlases by Blaeu, Ortelius, De Wit and others. Here too can be found work by Father Kino, Benjamin Franklin, a beautiful edition of the Nuremberg Chronicles and colorful Gold Rush Map by William Jackson.
Venue: 7825 Fay Ave Suite LL-A, La Jolla CA 92037

Portland, USA

Organisation: Osher Map Library

An exhibition to mark Maine statehood—in a divorce from Massachusetts—on 15 March 1820.
Maine Bicentennial exhibit: Mapping Maine: The Land and Its Peoples, 1677-1842 curated by OML Faculty Scholar, Dr. Matthew Edney.
The exhibition is also online at !
Opening lecture to be presented virtually on Saturday 12 September, 15.00 - 16.30.
Venue: OML Gallery, 314 Forest Avenue; Portland, ME 04101