The MIMA museum in Brussels will be turned into a boxing temple

The MIMA - the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art - will be transformed into a boxing temple on the occasion of the exhibition Local Heroes. ​

Inspired by Ancient Greek gymnasiums, Local Heroes offers not only exercise for the body but also exercise for the mind. For four months, MIMA will be turned into a temple of boxing, the so-called Noble Art.

Here, this discipline is elevated to the status of a secular cult simply by merging an artistic vision with the daily use of the training and fighting rooms by boxers. This means the visiting experience changes depending on whether the spaces are being used for sport or not, and by the activation of audio-video installations in situ.

The Noble Art preceptors at MIMA all belong to the community formed by the two doyens of boxing clubs in the city centre, BBA and IBP. They embody the 'local heroes' in the eyes of the intervening visual artists, act as guides for the visitor and become the artists themselves when they step into the ring to demonstrate their skills.

The artistic creation is also local. The original boxing clothes created by Kenza Vandeput-Taleb draw the attention to the fight in the middle of the ring. Dave Decat's posters raise the portraits of the young boxers to the rank of pop culture. Christopher de Béthune's black and white photography highlights the daily practice of the sport. Yannick Jacquet and Antoine Bertin's audio-video installations bring to life the ghosts of boxers outside the actual combat sessions. Edouard Valette's photographs invent dreamlike characters that have slipped away from the local hall of fame of champions. Rocio Alvarez's visuals reinterpret the cultural heritage of the discipline.

While sport as we know it today, with its focus on performance, often overlooks its artistic contribution, the history of humanity reveals on the contrary that these two aspects of culture were generally intimately linked.

By broadening the imagery associated with boxing through locally-anchored artistic content, Local Heroes is a meeting place for the worlds of sport and art.

Local Heroes
3 February to 28 May 2023
39-41, Quai du Hainaut
1080 Brussels, Belgium

Press conference

Thursday 2 February 2023, at 11am ​
Please confirm your attendance via [email protected]

  • Partners sports clubs

    BBA :
    The Brussels Boxing Academy (BBA) is a recreational and competitive boxing club and its doors are open to all of Brussels’ young people, boys, girls and gender minorities alike.
    The BBA trains its members in different rooms, for boxers from 6 to 77 years old. The club is part of the non-profit DBROEJ.


    Idrissi Boxing Pro (IBP) is a club headed up by Mohamed Idrissi that supports amateur competitors who hanker after a professional career. ​
    A former Moroccan boxing champion, Idrissi puts his experience and psychology at the service of these athletes through his competitive and supportive approach. He is also a coach for the BBA. ​
  • Visual arts:
    Rocio Alvarez, Dave Decat, Yannick Jacquet & Antoine Bertin, Edouard Valette, Christopher de Béthune, Kenza Vandeput-Taleb.
  • Creative partners:
    MAD and Cours Florent Brussels


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