The Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) announces its New Artistic Team
M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp – is pleased to announce its new artistic team. After Nav Haq recently became Associate Director, now Anne-Claire Schmitz and Joanna Zielińska are appointed as Senior Curators.
M HKA heads into a new phase of its existence, with the Flemish government having engaged for a new building that will finally give M HKA a fully developed museum infrastructure, therewith enabling it to sustain and further develop the level of international excellence expected of it. M HKA’s General Director Bart De Baere will focus the core of his attention towards this ambitious new civic and institutional project, scheduled to open in 2027. Nav Haq has been appointed as Associate Director at the end of last year, with responsibility for the further development and orientation of the artistic programme at M HKA. Now the new team has been completed with Anne-Claire Schmitz and Joanna Zielińska.
Bart De Baere, General Director M HKA:
“This is for me a ‘queen’s sacrifice’, as they say in chess, giving up much of what I profoundly enjoy, being close to the art and artists that made me take this path. But the horizon offered to us by the Flemish government, of a new building that finally offers a full-scale museum infrastructure – and therewith implies a full-scale organisation – needs to be taken seriously. Developing that will take the coming years and requires full attention. You can’t always combine everything, or you become cross-eyed. Meanwhile M HKA will remain operational and that requires a full focus too. I’m happy Anne-Claire, Joanna and Nav came aboard, they’ll now make our real future, our software for further commitment to art.”
Nav Haq has been Senior Curator at M HKA since 2012, where he has organised monographic exhibitions of artists including Harald Thys & Jos de Gruyter, Kerry James Marshall, Otobong Nkanga, Joseph Beuys, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Laure Prouvost, amongst others. In stepping up to this new role he will take responsibility for its Department for Artistic Presentations which incorporates the curatorial office, production team, and the museum’s film hub De Cinema run in collaboration with partner organisation De Studio. He brings eight years of experience working at the museum, and undertakes overall responsibility for developing M HKA’s artistic vision for the coming years.
He is presently preparing the exhibition MONOCULTURE – A Recent History taking place at M HKA in Summer 2020.
Nav Haq, Associate Director M HKA:
“I’m delighted to have been invited to step up to this new role. After working at the museum for the last eight years as a Senior Curator, I’m committed to guiding M HKA’s artistic vision in this phase gearing up to the new institution. I will seek to develop ambitious new programming together with my new colleagues Anne-Claire and Joanna, who have demonstrated their capabilities for creating adept and imaginative projects. We will endeavour to engage qualitatively with artists in producing a programme that is generative, meaningful and relevant. Looking forward to it.”
Anne-Claire Schmitz and Joanna Zielińska are the new Senior Curators at M HKA. Together with Nav Haq, Schmitz and Zielińska will develop the future programme of exhibitions and artistic projects at the museum. With their wealth and diversity of experiences, they seek to bring new thinking and methodologies to M HKA.
Anne-Claire Schmitz is a curator based in Brussels. In 2019, she curated Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’ exhibition Mondo Cane for the Belgian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. From 2012 until the summer of 2019, she was committed to developing and programming La Loge, a non-profit organisation dedicated to contemporary art, architecture and theory located in Brussels. Schmitz was also previously Curator at Witte de With, Rotterdam.
Anne-Claire Schmitz, Senior Curator M HKA:
“I am happy to join M HKA as part of a new curatorial think tank formed with my colleagues. I am looking forward to contributing all together to the future of the institution; it’s position, attitude and artistic programme. I wish for a programme vision expressing engagement, ambition, generosity, creativity and focus, and I feel excited about this challenging mission.”
Joanna Zielińska is an art historian and exhibition maker with specialism in performance and performativity. From 2015 to 2020, she was the Head of the Performing Arts Department at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Zielińska was also previously Chief Curator at Cricoteka, the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor in Kraków, Poland, and was Artistic Director at the Znaki Czasu Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Toruń, Poland from 2008-2010.
Joanna Zielińska, Senior Curator M HKA:
“As a long-time admirer of M HKA’s programme and collection (to which I have humbly contributed the artists’ novels collection as part of The Book Lovers collective since 2011), I feel honoured to join its artistic team as a Senior Curator. I wish to contribute knowledge I have produced in my professional trajectory via research and experience working at the crossover between the visual and performing arts (introducing notions such as performativity and fiction). A central aspect will be the active engagement with local audiences and the connection with the lively Flemish art scene, whilst at the same time contextualising it in the wider international art discourses. Engaging with the new curatorial projects and challenges to come motivates me greatly and makes me extremely excited.”
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