From 15 March to 19 August 2018

Curator: Louma Salamé

The Boghossian Foundation presents its new exhibition, Melancholia, at the Villa Empain. The exhibition examines the origins and manifestations of this feeling – manifest in both the East and the West since ancient history – which unremittingly reminds us of a lost origin, and instills in us a sense of mourning for a past world.

Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.” states Aristotle. This feeling of melancholy remains at the heart of the problems we are confronted with today because the world we face is an inevitable cause for concern, especially given the irreversible climate change. The earth we know will never be the same – the digital revolution in the 2000s has marked the beginning of a form of dehumanisation of human relationships, questioning how a person can remain a unique and irreplaceable being.

Today’s and tomorrow’s children of Saturn remain inconsolable beings, haunted by existential problems. Works by modern and contemporary artists presented in the exhibition explore issues such as nostalgia for a bygone era; for the depiction of solitude, absence, and passing time.

The catalogue includes an anthology of quotes from modern and contemporary poets and writers, as well as photographs of the exhibition. Among others, it presents in situ installations, specially conceived for Melancholia, in the Villa and the Foundation’s garden.


Etel Adnan, Manal Al Dowayan, El Anatsui, Farah Atassi, Abdelkader Benchamma, Barbara Bloom, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Pascal Convert, Eli Cortiñas, Giorgio De Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Marlene Dumas, Lionel Estève, Jef Geys, Alberto Giacometti, Geert Goiris, Mimmo Jodice, On Kawara, Martin Kippenberger, KRJST Studio, René Lalique, Marwan, Mathieu Mercier, Melik Ohanian, Claudio Parmiggiani, Giuseppe Penone, Constant Permeke, Félicien Rops, Marius-Ernest Sabino, Norbert Schwontkowski, Lucile Sevin, Kiki Smith, Léon Spilliaert, Tatiana Wolska, Samuel Yal, Rémy Zaugg, Lamia Ziadé.


Centre for art and dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67
B – 1050 Brussels

Open from Tuesday to Sunday
From 11 am until 6 pm

T. +32 2 627 52 30

© Claudio Parmiggiani
Senza Titolo, 2009
Book, plaster cast, clock
50 x 70 x 30 cm
Pièce unique
N° Inv. CP/271011/005

With the support of the
Brussels-Capital Region