Melancholia @ Villa Empain

Senza Titolo, 2013-2015 by Claudio Parmiggiani (left), Orion, 2016 by KRJST studio (right)


Melancholia is a concept that is hard to explain. Do you know the feeling of being in a sad mood when you don’t even have a reason to be sad? Or do you ever catch yourself daydreaming about things you no longer have? That kind of nostalgia is what I call melancholia. This state of moodiness is often represented in the art world by a character that is staring in the distance, with the eyes pointed to the ground. Although it might seem that the character is sad and lonely, melancholia is not necessarily a bad thing. An artist or writer who finds himself in a state of melancholia can create beautiful things.

Villa Empain displays 70 works of art by Belgian and international artists. Some of the artists are no longer alive, others have created an installation on demand for this exhibition. The curator, Louma Salamé, created a dialogue between modern artists like Giorgio De Chirico and contemporary artists like Claudio Parmiggiani. There are several themes coming back in this exhibition like loneliness, the absence of things and the passing of time, to name a few.

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