On Friday 17 November the expanded Museum to Scale was inaugurated. On display are 105 mini artworks, including two ‘tactile artworks'. An inclusive audio guide tells the story behind five of the pieces.
There is a lot of art to experience on UAntwerp's campuses. In Building R (Stadscampus), the permanent exhibition 'Museum to Scale’ has been open to everyone since 2019. The exhibition was extended to the first floor of the building this year. This involved 50 new works being inaugurated on 17 November. On the ground floor, visitors could already see about 50 mini museum rooms, each of them featuring a scaled work by a Belgian artist.
Museum to Scale is the brainchild of gallerists Ronny and Jessy Van de Velde. They asked about 100 artists to stage their art in miniature. The result is a collection of box-shaped viewing cabinets displaying miniature works. In 2019, the University of Antwerp Art on Campus Commission acquired the collection.
Anyone walking through the corridors of Building R goes on a journey through the Belgian art landscape.
‘Anyone walking through the corridors of Building R goes on a journey through the Belgian art landscape,’ says UAntwerp rector Herman Van Goethem. ‘Previously, pre-2000 work was on display. The expansion of the museum now also sheds light on a more recent part of our art history.’
Over the past two years, Art on Campus and Rubi have also been working on accessibility to Museum to Scale. ‘Together with UAntwerp's OPEN Expertise Centre for Accessible Media and Culture, a pilot project was launched in which we collaborated with several artists and experts by experience to create an inclusive audio guide,’ explains Nina Reviers, associated with the Department of Applied Linguistics (Faculty of Arts). ‘As a result, you can now discover some of the works in the collection through hearing or feeling them. It is already the first step in making art experiences on campus accessible to everyone.’
You can now discover some of the works in the collection through hearing or feeling them. It is already the first step in making art experiences on campus accessible to everyone.
Five works on the ground floor each have a QR code that allows you to open the audio guide on your mobile phone. Reviers: ‘This way, you can listen to additional explanations about the work with audio description, and you can also read through subtitles or follow in Flemish Sign Language.’
Art by touch
The audio guide also lets you experience the works in a poetic way: Arne Quinze's work, for example, is translated into poetry, via an artistic soundscape. Among all the works are also tactile artworks that encourage you to experience art with your hands and not just your eyes. Both works are a reworking of pieces already shown in the exhibition.
For instance, Nadia Naveau translated her own work Le Salon du Plaisir (2012) into a tactile artwork. In doing so, the artist chose materials she uses throughout her oeuvre. The result is a landscape composed of different textures and fabrics. You can also discover the work of Tonia In den Kleef, a visual artist with a visual impairment, by touch. She reinterpreted Marie-Jo Lafontaine's video installation Dance the world (2013). For A Touch of Dance, In den Kleef drew inspiration from various descriptions of Lafontaine's artwork.
The museum is freely accessible on weekdays until 6pm.
University of Antwerp
Stadscampus - Building R