EXTRA MUROS: Geel – Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna


Stad Geel, Geel

15 September 2018 - 04 November 2018

Exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a cooperation between M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, and cultural centre de Werft in Geel. Middle Gate II is the sequel to the exhibition Middle Gate made by Jan Hoet in Geel in 2013. The concept of the exhibition is intricately interwoven with the legend of Saint Dymphna, patroness of the possessed and mentally ill and patron saint against epilepsy and insanity. The legend of Dymphna is also closely linked to the identity of Geel, town of mercy.

Middle Gate II  is structured around the four symbols of Saint Dymphna – crown, book, devil and sword – each representing a theme linked to Dymphna’s legend. The crown is connected to migration, the devil represents insanity, the book stands for spirituality and the sword is linked to (sexual) violence. These four symbols/themes are shown on four different locations, resulting in a group exhibition along a course across Geel: the Municipal Academy for visual arts (crown/migration), the Hospital Museum (devil/insanity), the Saint Dymphna Church (book/spirituality) and ‘De Halle’ (sword/(sexual) violence). All exhibited works enter into a dialogue with their specific location and the ‘permanent’ works (of art) and objects.  Middle Gate II engages, often with works from the M HKA collection that have never been shown before, with four urgent social themes that were already addressed in the legend of Saint Dymphna. 

Four female artists actively cooperated in setting up the exhibition. They each made a campaign image for the theme they helped to work out: Tinka Pittoors (crown/migration), Liliane Vertessen (devil/insanity), Nel Aerts (book/spirituality) and Els Dietvorst (sword/(sexual) violence).


Practical information

Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna
Saturday – Sunday          11:00-18:00 
Groups after prior appointment

Municipal Academy for Visual Arts, Kollegestraat 11
Hospital Museum, Gasthuisstraat 1
Saint Dymphna Church, Sint-Dimpnaplein
De Halle, Markt 1



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