Mission Statement

Kunsthal Gent is an experimental intersection for the presentation and development of contemporary art, located in a monumental fourteenth-century Carmelite monastery in the centre of Ghent since 2018.

During the weekend, Kunsthal Gent is an exhibition space that can be visited free of charge. On working days it is a workplace for artists and artistic organisations, but there are also public activities: from lectures and workshops to screenings and performances. At Kunsthal Gent, various artistic players and disciplines in the arts meet each other. Emerging, established, local and international names are invited: they develop their artistic practice or present their work in exhibitions.

Kunsthal Gent is a small organisation in a large building and therefore offers a lot of space for programs of partners, such as Art Cinema OFFoff, the Curatorial Studies course of the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), the art education organisation das Kunst and others. Three times a year there is an opening weekend with a new series of exhibitions. In the permanent exhibition programme Endless Exhibition*, curators and artists add exhibitions without an end date. In addition, Kunsthal Gent houses the development programme Permanently Practising, offering six artists, collectives, organisations or collaborative projects a grant for a work period each year.

Encounters and collaboration are the driving forces behind a hybrid programme with different layers and speeds, in which various artistic players react to each other and to the spatial context. Visual art is central to the programme, which is constantly nourished and challenged by architecture, design, audiovisual art, performing arts and art in public space. With this broad approach, Kunsthal Gent not only transcends the classical definitions of the artist, curator, critic and designer, but also breaks down the dividing lines between individual, collective and organisation. Kunsthal Gent offers these players a professional framework for experimenting with new ways of developing and presenting; it functions not only as an exhibition space, but also as a meeting place and as a base of operations; it builds and strengthens networks and opens the door to the city. With this approach, Kunsthal Gent aims to be a link between artist-run spaces, galleries, art schools and museums and to contribute to the development of a healthy ecology for contemporary art in Ghent.

Kunsthal Gent is certainly not a white cube. Compare it with a city, with a public space in which different identities come together and interact or rather exist alongside each other. Kunsthal Gent unfolds itself as a city in the making: always in motion, with rapid and slow changes at the same time. The works in the Endless Exhibition remain in place or are adapted, while spatial interventions, exhibitions and other public activities move around them. Some works will not withstand the resistance of new additions and will move, change or disappear. In the same way that a city is constantly being built, removed, repaired or adapted.

* The basis for the artistic programme at Kunsthal Gent is inspired by Endless Exhibition, a work by Prem Krishnamurthy (US).

"The new type of art institute cannot merely be an art museum as it has been until now, but no museum at all. The new type will be more like a power station, a producer of new energy.”

Alexander Dorner, The Way Beyond ‘Art’: The Work of Herbert Bayer, ReInk Books, 2017 (1947), p.116.
Structural Partners

Long-term partnerships feed the artistic programme of Kunsthal Gent. These partners use the building as a base for a programme of their own devising. They regularly interact with the conceptual and spatial context as well as with Kunsthal Gent’s core programme of ongoing presentation and development flows.

  • Kunsthal Gent is the permanent screening venue and operational base of Art Cinema OFFoff vzw. In addition, OFFoff screens films at various locations in Flanders and collaborates with filmmakers, artists, curators and cultural partners from Flanders and abroad.
  • das Kunst vzw develops a youth collective in Kunsthal Ghent. With few rules and a lot of enthusiasm for experiment and expression, the collective engages in dialogue and reflects on art, the city and society. das Kunst offers artistic support, inspiration, time and material within the vibrant artistic space of Kunsthal Gent, in the middle of the city.
  • Curatorial Studies is an English-language postgraduate course at KASK School Of Arts. It is a one-year programme for students with a master's degree in the arts, humanities or exact sciences, with a particular focus on contemporary art. Parts of the programme take place in Kunsthal Gent.
Vrijwilligers

Become a volunteer at Kunsthal Gent

Kunsthal Gent is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to strengthen its activities.

Function

  • You will man the reception together with another volunteer during opening hours.
  • You welcome visitors and explain what there is to see.
  • You answer (general) questions about Kunsthal Gent and the exhibitions.
  • Optional: you open and close the doors independently in the weekend.
  • Optional: practical support or help at the bar during events.

Profile

  • You speak Dutch or English fluently.
  • You are interested in visual arts.
  • You have communication skills or you want to gain experience.
  • You are regularly free on weekends (Saturday or Sunday, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.).

Offer

  • A volunteer's fee of EUR 34 per day.
  • An exciting and dynamic working environment in the contemporary art world.

Interested? Fill in the form via this link.

Questions? Mail us!

Coordination team
Support

Kunsthal Gent is a non-profit organisation. Its activities are made possible by donations from visitors and sponsors, with the support of the City of Ghent and the Flemish Community, and with the help of many volunteers.

Donations

A visit to Kunsthal Gent is free. After your visit you can leave a donation according to the pay what you can principle.

Donations to Kunsthal Gent make this possible:

  • No entrance fee for exhibitions at Kunsthal Gent during opening hours on the weekend (11am-6pm)
  • A lively and visible platform for artists and organisations: local and international, emerging and established
  • Three special opening weekends per year with different new exhibitions
  • The support of six artists or organisations per year through the development platform of Kunsthal Gent
  • ...

Kunsthal is supported by

User's Manual

The user’s manual for Kunsthal Gent explains what the organisation is made of, how it is set up, whom it is for, how it can be used and what it can offer. It is made for the users (this includes the public) as well as for the staff and the artists. This manual consists of quotes, gathered from our mission statement, personal notes and team meetings, and quotes from the speakers that were invited in Kunsthal Gent’s 2018 fall programme.

Download: How to / start / collaborate with / work in / Kunsthal Gent: User’s Manual version Draft #1

Download User's Manual – Draft #1