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© Noortje Palmers

Display of Power | About Prestige and Symbols

17.05.2011 - 18.02.2018

Power is a universal phenomenon. Open the newspaper and you can’t avoid it. In this exhibition, you will discover all sorts of power. In Antwerp, but also in the rest of the world. Is it your wealth, beauty or family background that makes the difference? What type of power suits you best?

Power is everywhere

Power is seductive and ubiquitous. Sometimes it seems like a game, but for the most part it is deadly serious. All too often, an unquenchable thirst for power leads to violence. On floor +4 you will find out for yourself how power works.

Dive in

As you enter the room, you will be immediately immersed in images and sounds associated with power displays from all over the world. There’s no escape…or is there? After all, those in power only stay in place as long as the people admire them. If the people oppose them, the symbols of power are destroyed.

A power-trip through time

Find out how Hans Christoffel, a captain in the Dutch army in the East Indies, kept Sumatra under control. Or travel to 16th-century Antwerp and learn about the turbulent Spanish regime at that time. Then take a look at Japan, where from the 17th century onwards samurai and emperors divided power between them, and how this is reflected in children’s upbringing right up to the present day. After that, make your way to Central Africa, where we give you an exclusive look at a collection of artwork created for the honour and glory of local leaders. End your trip with the mana or divine power in Polynesia. The art installation of Maori artist George Nuku shows you his vision of the Polynesian heritage in Western museums.

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