Street art in Molenbeek


Brussels has got its own museum dedicated to Culture 2.0, or the new forms of urban art: The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), established in the former Belle-Vue breweries in Molenbeek. Four acclaimed artists will be showcased for the opening exhibition ‘City Lights’, a veritable blend of artistic subcultures which brings a breath of fresh air to the art world as well as cultural dynamism to the Molenbeek municipality.

MIMA is the creation of four associates: Florence and Michel Delaunoit, Alice van den Abeele, and Raphaël Cruyt. They all wanted to promote the work of artists belonging to the Culture 2.0 movement, an art form which emerged in the early 2000s. Electronic music, punk, hip-hop, design, extreme sports, cinema, or even street art, the museum is giving the floor to numerous artists from a wide variety of disciplines. They all have one thing in common, however: they are part of this generation 2.0; they have shattered the conventional codes of contemporary art and have learned to communicate differently with their public.

The curators of the opening exhibition ‘City Lights’, Alice Van den Abeele and Raphaël Cruyt, wanted to present four American artists from different backgrounds: Swoon, Maya Hayuk, FAILE and MOMO. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and printed materials are confronted with each other in different worlds.  In the process, these artists represent the ‘free-travelling cultural reality’, the idea of having much larger artistic mobility, of not being limited to just one branch; of being a ‘citizen of the world’, insists Van den Abeele. The artist can be a designer, a musician and a street artist all at the same time; he can be exhibited in galleries as well as museums. That's what the new generation 2.0 is all about.

MIMA, set up in the former Belle-Vue breweries along the Canal, takes up 1,300 square metres spread over 4 floors.  Permanent collections are presented on the first three floors, with the fourth floor being used for conferences and workshops. Eventually, the museum should have forty or so works in its collection, loaned by an association of patrons. Two temporary exhibitions will also be presented each year. The museum's location is ideal, alongside the canal and close to the city centre. Its exhibitions are also likely to attract significant amounts of international visitors. Further evidence that positive things are happening within the municipality, which is all too often disparaged abroad. The café Le Phare, also along the Canal, is another success story, as is the residence area for artists, LaVallée, which is an exhibition space between the canal and the Parvis Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

We are therefore contributing to a new dynamic, one in which MIMA will strengthen the future role of the canal on the Brussels scene, and that is something to celebrate!