M HKA gaat digitaal

Met M HKA Ensembles zetten we onze eerste échte stappen in het digitale landschap. Ons doel is met behulp van nieuwe media de kunstwerken nog beter te kaderen dan we tot nu toe hebben kunnen doen.

We geven momenteel prioriteit aan smartphones en tablets, m.a.w. de in-museum-ervaring. Maar we zijn evenzeer hard aan het werk aan een veelzijdige desktop-versie. Tot het zover is vind je hier deze tussenversie.

M HKA goes digital

Embracing the possibilities of new media, M HKA is making a particular effort to share its knowledge and give art the framework it deserves.

We are currently focusing on the experience in the museum with this application for smartphones and tablets. In the future this will also lead to a versatile desktop version, which is now still in its construction phase.

Inertia, 2012

Artist Novel, 21.6 x 14 cm, 211 p, language: English, Dutch (bilingual edition), publisher: Onomatopee, Eindhoven/Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ISBN: 9789078454946.

©image: M HKA

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/231).

Literary synopsis

Inertia is an account of two visits to Palestine. The immediate cause of this subject was the Israeli attack on Gaza in January 2009, which was widely reported in the media and from which an emotional appeal emanated. The first visit partly was in the context of the 'Riwaq Biennale', the Palestinian art venue that is critically reviewed. The biennale as a model of artistic social criticism is closely connected to the promise of art as a co-designer of society. The central premise is to be present in this force field as artist as well as neutral audience, to be a distanced part of a cultural exercise such as a biennale and comment on it from within. Next to this it is a literary account of the stay in Palestine. Notions of orientation/disorientation, propaganda, and political prejudice are explored. An important question hereby was how one can obtain information by oneself, navigating the ideological propaganda of the parties involved. These attempts at establishing contact begin with the premise that one’s stay is both brief and temporary and the contacts will be inadequate. A reflection of the fact that, while commitment is often proclaimed this rarely results in an actual merging into or a profound understanding of the situation concerned.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The artist's novel Inertia is the book part of an on-going project that consists of a book, text work and video recordings. It is representative of Segbars’ praxis in which the ‘original’ artwork as object is connected to its adjacent positions that together produce the meaning of the artwork: theory, policy, critique, institution and curator. Having started off as artist producing mostly painting and installations, the focus has shifted to the peripheral and constituent positions of the production of art. This means incorporating the positions of the institutional, theory, policy, curatorship and critique as equal partners in the palette of art production. In this problematic the element of text plays an important role as translating, constituting and transforming tool between these different positions. Concrete for Segbars’ art praxis it means that he takes on the role of curator as well as writer to investigate the role of the artwork in relation to these other positions. The form of the ‘novel’ – the transformation of the originally visual character of art into literature is an extra step away from these constituent forms of text, in which it might be regarded, though questionable, as an ultimate refuge for it to maintain a form of autonomy.

Novel's website

Add to your list


>Inertia, Global Villaging, Onomatopee, Eindhoven 2011

>Inertia, The People United Will Never Be Defeated, Tent Rotterdam 2010



> Jack Segbars.

Exhibitions & Ensembles

> Exhibition: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ARTWORK BECOMES A NOVEL?. M HKA, Antwerp, 07 December 2012 - 21 April 2013.

> Exhibition: Book Lovers 4.0 (Pop-up Bookstore). De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, 28 January 2014 - 02 February 2014.

> Exhibition: The Preparation of the Novel (Book Lovers 5.0). Fabra i Coats - Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, 18 July 2014 - 05 September 2014.

> Exhibition: THE BOOK LOVERS - A Project about Artist Novels. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, 25 January 2013 - 09 March 2013.

> Ensemble: The Artist's Novel.