The Museum of Contemporary Arts (MACS) is one of the French Community of Belgium’s leading cultural projects. This space dedicated to contemporary creation designed by Pierre Hebbelinck, one of the main actors involved in architectural renewal in Wallonia, is the latest in the succession of redevelopments to take place at the site, which were initiated in the late 1980s by the Permanent Deputy, Claude Durieux. With a view to adopting a broad-ranging international acquisitions and exhibitions policy, the Museum’s artistic management was entrusted to Laurent Busine, who has orchestrated the project since 1991. It's in january 2016 that Laurent Busine retired and leaved the MACS in the hands of his successor, Denis Gielen.
With its ambitious vocation to introduce the greatest possible number of people to contemporary arts, the MACS received financial support from the outset (september 2002) from the Province of Hainaut, the owner of the historic site, the Walloon Region, the French Community and the European Union. Its location mid-way along a motorway connecting France with the Netherlands and Germany makes it one of the most accessible cultural ports of call.
Three priorities determine the MACS cultural mission: the constitution of a collection, the scheduling of exhibitions and the staging of cultural events. Owing to the specific budget allocated to it, the museum’s collection has gradually been enhanced by works selected by the Acquisitions Committee responsible for defining its orientations. Although there is no permanent exhibition area allocated to it, the collection adopts the same lines of reflection on international contemporary art as those pursued during the exhibitions, i.e. the relationships between memory, place and poetics. Being open to the diversity of genres and disciplines as its name suggests, the Museum of Contemporary Arts focuses its attention both on the traditional forms of artistic practice (painting, sculpture, etc.) and on modern media (photography, installation, etc.) or contemporary ones (video, multimedia, etc.).
With a cultural activities department that was operational from the outset, the Museum identifies its mission as "educating the eye". The MACS cultural action, combined with that of Grand-Hornu Images, makes the Grand-Hornu site the most important contemporary arts’ showcase in Belgium, as it represents the entire spectrum of current creation.
Numerous artists from Belgium and abroad have already been presented, including: Luciano Fabro, Giuseppe Penone, Marie José Burki, Anish Kapoor, Patrick Corillon, Jean-Luc Mylaine, Robert Mappelthorpe, Christian Boltanski, Ann Veronica Janssens, Thierry De Cordier, Gilbert and Georges, Art and Language, ...