Family Fictions

14.09 — 08.12.2019 Group exhibition

Curated by Laura Herman and Charlotte Van Buylaere

Family, as it has been institutionalized in the West, is the product of a carefully designed organisation, which privileges certain relations (between man and wife, child and parent) and excludes others. This structure exerts forms of control, and shapes our sense of history (genealogy), presentness (kinship), and futurity (legacy). It is reflected in notions of patriarchy, brotherhood, sisterhood, and hierarchical models of organisation.

Changing forms of living together prompt us to rethink the traditional meaning of “family”. From queer communities to soviet communes, and from love affairs with strangers to interspecies households: what could a social terrain for post-familial bodies look like?

Through a selection of diverse practices ‘Family Fictions’ freely explores the ways in which artists examine, destabilise, re-invent, or reshuffle the concept of family, and asks whether we could rethink the vocabulary of “family” altogether. Can we critically approach “community” and our “being together” as something that can be a collective history or a set of codes, rather than based on lineage? What happens when common delineations of family become more and more permeable and fluid?


Image: ‘W.H. Shumard family’, circa 1955, Item 31160, Ben Evans Recreation Program Collection (Record Series 5801-02), Seattle Municipal Archives (Wikipedia)

Location Kunsthal Extra City - Antwerpen-Berchem, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen