I Feel Really Awake

Group show
Maison du Peuple / Volkshuis, Saint-Gilles (BE)

Lucile Bertrand


“I Feel Really Awake” is a group show organised by the Ixelles Museum and the Maison du Peuple.


11 artists, 11 women, 11 inhabitants of Brussels were asked to pick one work from the permanent collections at the Musée d’Ixelles – ‘a portrait of a woman’ – and to foster a dialogue with their own practice, their own universe. And thus, these painters, sculptors, photographers, reply to their predecessors.

In collaboration with the Musée d’Ixelles, the Saint-Gilles department of culture conceived the exhibition I feel really awake. These words are of a woman who looks back on how far we have come from, on the history of art, of a woman who offers her free and clear opinion about these roots, about this heritage legacy. This quote comes from the film Thelma & Louise, directed by Ridley Scott. Gourmand and poetic, it beckons insight, which must be constantly renewed, mainly when it comes to the issue of equality!

The selection of works featuring in the permanent collections of the Musée d’Ixelles opens a window on how women are represented. In their personal selection, our contemporary Brussels artists have gone through the reserves, thereby not only unveiling the richness but also the women’s codes of representation throughout the various artistic movements. Alfred STEVENS, Paul DELVAUX, Auguste RODIN, Marcel BERLANGER, Frans VAN HOLDER, Isidore VERHEYDEN, Jean GOUWELOOS, Constantin MEUNIER, Charles HERMANS, Edgard TYTGAT. An unsettling representation of realism or a dreamlike vision, whether portrayed as a muse or a bourgeois portrait, women captured in paint or sculpture give free rein to multiple universes that are as clear as they are mysterious.

In front of these artworks, which read like pages of art history, the responses from Lucile BERTRAND, Sophie KUIJKEN, Léopoldine ROUX, Manon BARA, France DUBOIS, Tamar KASPARIAN, Maya GOLD, Clémence GRUTERING, Annabelle GUETATRA, Élodie ANTOINE and Anne DE GELAS take pride of place. The correspondence between artists from yesteryear and today well transcends the binary divide and opens up a dialogue of many resonating perspectives. The images reflect or converge, defy stereotypes, offer a new interpretation, marginal, eloquent or transgressive, artistic!


The exhibition “I feel really awake”, billed as the curtain lifter of the Parcours d’Artistes 2020 and this current edition offer a journey through sorority towards a horizon of multiple visions. With one intention only: to open up a space of freedom, to take the tangent and exit the expected path.


Juliette Roussel, Cultural Counsellor, Saint-Gilles
Claire Leblanc, Curator, Musée d’Ixelles


PRESS: “Je me sens si éveillée”, Muriel de Crayencour in Mu-inthecity, 2020 (FR)


Read more about Lucile Bertrand