The Belgian artist Hugo Roelandt (1950 – 2015) was one of the pioneering gures of performance art in Belgium in the 1970s and 1980s. A real ‘artist’s artist’, he advocated an art beyond the art market and geared towards society. Combining insights from photography and performance art, he evolved towards a personal crossover of performance and installation art for which he coined the label ‘post-performance’. Charismatic and energetic, he cooperated with numerous artists over the course of his career.

Hugo Roelandt generously bequeathed part of his estate to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, where he was a teacher in the photography department. In consultation with Lydia Van Loock, his partner, the Academy has decided that the artists’ archive should stay together as a platform for research about the artist and performance art in Belgium.

The M HKA is the bene ciary of Van Loock’s and the Academy’s generosity, and will invest its resources into preserving the archive, making it accessible to artists, students and researchers, and the public via its Ensembles web platform. The Academy will continue to play an important role in conducting and facilitating research on the Hugo Roelandt Archive, partnering with M HKA to ensure that it remain in the public domain, in the spirit of the artist.

Equally in the spirit of the artist, a broad coalition of organisations will form a community to enhance the understanding and public visibility of Roelandt’s work, which has a contemporary international urgency – all the more given the renewed recent interest in performance art and its histories. Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, under the directorship of Antony Hudek, took the rst step by inviting the journalist and critic Marc Holthof to curate two exhibitions in 2016 devoted to Roelandt’s oeuvre.

At the occasion of the exhibitions, M HKA will launch a website dedicated to the artist, which it has developed and hosted. The Ensembles site will showcase research done by the various Hugo Roelandt Research Project partners over the next years, most notably the Royal Academy, which will be a key partner in its development.

Also coinciding with the exhibitions, the first monograph devoted to Hugo Roelandt, edited by Marc Holthof, will be published by Occasional Papers.

Among the many activities planned as part of the Hugo Roelandt Research Project:

Objectif Exhibitions is hosting two exhibitions on Hugo Roelandt, curated by Marc Holthof (16.04.2016 – 04.06.2016 / 16.06.2016 – 30.07.2016).
Netwerk, Aalst is hosting an exhibition on Hugo Roelandt, curated by Roger D’Hondt (23.04.2016 – 18.06.2016).
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and Objectif Exhibitions are collaborating on a Study Day around Roelandt’s work, scheduled for October 2016.
M HKA is hosting two sequential small archival exhibitions devoted to the Antwerp alternative space Montevideo, which Hugo Roelandt co-founded in 1981 (the first 16.06.2016–10.07.2016; the second 14.07.2016 – 07.08.2016).
The Middelheim Museum will re-stage a 1983 performance by Roelandt, as part of an exhibition in collaboration with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp.
Argos will include digital copies of Roelandt’s lm in its collection, and manage its distribution.