Musée des Arts Contemporains de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Johan Muyle

No Room for Regrets

The MACS is presenting a retrospective exhibition of work by the Belgian artist, Johan Muyle.

Born in 1956 in Montignies-sur-Sambre, Johan Muyle’s dedication to sculpture dates from the early 1980s. He began creating sculptures and assemblages from objects found in flea markets and the attics of society (religious statuettes, biscuit tins, bicycle wheels, etc.), and soon introduced the concept of movement, adding motorized systems that animate the works, like homemade automatons.

From his Mami Wata, inspired by an African water goddess, to monumental paintings created in collaboration with the cine banner painters of Mumbai, Johan Muyle’s imagination is fed by his numerous journeys in Africa, India and elsewhere, through the beliefs, rituals and images he discovers there. They also nurture his fascination for otherness and his thirst for humanism, as well as influencing his sculptural aesthetic.
With insatiable curiosity, Johan Muyle endlessly broadens the spectrum of his creation, exploring as many fields as possible (sculpture, writing aphorisms, monumental installation, customizing motorcycles, and so on) in order to metaphorically and poetically question the world that surrounds him. The human condition as a whole, the Iraq War, the politics of Donald Trump, the radicalization of religions and the absence of freedom in contemporary society have not escaped his keen eye, forming starting points for works created since 2004.

By inviting our gaze and inciting reactions from the audience (some works require visitors to actively take decisions), Johan Muyle confronts viewers with their own role in society and the consequences of their actions.

A rebel at heart, a larger-than-life figure in the art world, as well as an outsider, for several years Johan Muyle pursued his sculptural reflections by customizing Harley Davidson motorcycles, which he sees as sculptural objects in their own right, while regarding the suspicious looks of art world specialists and bikers alike with amusement.

Referring to himself as ‘a poor lonesome cowboy’, Johan Muyle constantly draws our attention to the world around us. He questions the incessant flow of images that confront us, to reveal their meaning and in some way guide us along the path to freedom of thought.

No Room for Regrets is an immersive exhibition that aims to plunge the visitor into the total, unclassifiable work of an artist who defies categorization.