For the 'Chambres d’Amis' exhibition in 1986, the French artist Daniel Buren applied his familiar banded motif to the guest room in the house of the art collectors Annick and Anton Herbert. He also installed a copy of the room in the museum at the time. This public half of 'Le Décor et son Double' is now being shown again for the first time and is also being incorporated into the S.M.A.K. collection.
In 1986, Jan Hoet – then director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, now called S.M.A.K. – organized the extra muros exhibition 'Chambres d’Amis', which showed contemporary art in private houses throughout the city of Ghent. Daniel Buren was one of the 51 international artists who created a work in situ, integrated in the everyday living space of citizens who were willing to open their doors first to an artist and then to the public. 'Le Décor et son Double' (1986) was conceived as a work in two parts, with one half located at the home of the collectors Annick and Anton Herbert at Raas van Gaverestraat, and the other half at the public museum.
Playing by the rules of 'Chambres d’Amis', Buren intervened in the home of the Herberts by applying in their guest room his ‘visual tool’ – white and fuchsia striped paper – on surfaces delimited by diagonals on two sides of the interior. The artist refused nevertheless to leave the space of the museum completely – as intended by Hoet – and placed an integral and perfectly identical reconstruction of the collectors’ guest room within the walls of the public institution. While the Herberts had preserved Daniel Buren’s intervention in their guest room, the public part of 'Le Décor et son Double' was not conserved. Today, 25 years after 'Chambres d’Amis', the public half has been rebuilt to become part of the S.M.A.K. collection.
The reconstruction of Le Décor et son Double in S.M.A.K. will be accompanied by a publication and an exhibition, with a reading room and videos by Jef Cornelis, Gilles Coudert, Sébastien Pluot and others.
From November 2011 until August 2012, it will be possible to visit the private half of 'Le Décor et son Double' in Annick and Anton Herbert’s home.
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