‘Quand le Ciel Bas et Lourd’ by David Lamelas: Towards a sustainable reconstruction and relocation of the artwork

As part of the planning for the renovation of the KMSKA (the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp), the artwork Quand le Ciel Bas et Lourd by artist David Lamelas is currently being dismantled. We are saddened to say goodbye to this great artwork, originally constructed in 1992 within the garden alongside the KMSKA as part of the temporary exhibition ‘America, Bride of the Sun. 500 Years of Latin America and the Low Countries’. However, it is with a renewed commitment and enthusiasm that we are looking forward to the future relocation and reconstruction of the work.

In close dialogue with David Lamelas, M HKA’s team is working on a sustainable future for the work – one that secures its structural integrity but also aims for a permanently active context for the work – with its relocation within the same park, in closer proximity to the former White Wide Space Gallery. As part of this process, and in consultation with the artist, we have opted for a reconstruction of the work instead of a restoration of the existing work (it appeared clear from the preproduction phase that this approach would guarantee a higher quality and longevity for the work – the current work being in poor condition – whilst also being more affordable).

In the last few weeks we have produced extensive technical documentation (involving photography, technical drawings and a three-dimensional scan) of the original work that will serve as references for its future reconstruction. The next steps towards the sustainable reconstruction and relocation of the artwork include the finetuning of a production budget, the planning of the production schedule (defined by the application for a permit) and a global curatorial approach for the trajectory of this relocation project.

We will keep you informed about the development of these plans without fail, and wish to involve our supporters and partners in its realisation.

David Lamelas, Quand le Ciel Bas et Lourd, 1992 Image by Jeroen Verrecht – Antwerp, 15 March 2021