Last Saturday I went to visit the private art collection of Proximus, a Belgian digital service provider.
In 25 years the company has collected about 600 artworks and last December they opened the doors to visitors.
For the moment, only 200 paintings and photos are displayed.
The exhibition is called Art with a View, because you can admire the artworks not only on the ground floor but also on the 25 floor, where you can enjoy a beautiful view over Brussels.
The company’s original purpose was not to become a museum but to offer the possibility to their staff to walk in the corridors and admire paintings, and to participate in meetings where there are artistic photos on the walls. The collection’s manager wanted to inspire staff with arts, to have them see the world through artists’ eyes.
Each morning and at the end of the day, staff used to pass by the corridors with their bags or carts for mail delivery or cleaning.
After the pandemic, the way of working has changed and now less and less people go to work at the company’s premises.
Therefore, the idea to open up the collection to the public.
The exhibition’s curator did not want neither to suggest a path nor to explain the artworks by putting a label next to them, as you would find in museums (for the most curious ones, there are QR codes on the floor that you can scan and get all the information about what you are looking at).
The curator wanted to provoke a reflection on the visual language. You can walk throughout the exhibition as you like it. We as human beings would like all to be explained, but art sometimes is inexplicable or looks inexplicable. And that is the beauty of art.
The photo I chose here below is the very popular Marilyn Series by Andy Wahrol. This is the most favourite artwork of Proximus’ staff. If the curator would decide not to exhibit it, a revolution among staff might have happened. Indeed it is very popular and well known, but always beautiful and worth seeing.
What do you think about the idea of inspiring staff with artworks in their workplace? Would you enjoy it? Where I work there used to be temporary exhibitions of artists from Brussels, not necessarily famous. And I appreciated it a lot. It was nice during the breaks going to the main hall and being wrapped by another vision of the world.