A Film Producer Is Opening a Coworking Space in Brussels Where He Can Show Off His Art Collection (Because Private Museums Are So 2019)
The inaugural exhibition at Cloud Seven will be "ghost curated" by the spirit of Alighiero Boetti.
The French art collector Frédéric de Goldschmidt is moving house, and he’s invited the art world to move in with him.
The T.V. and film producer is opening a hybrid space in Brussels this fall that is part coworking facility, part residential hub, and part private art gallery. The project, called Cloud Seven, spans seven floors and 1,500 square meters of refurbished 19th and 20th century buildings in the heart of the city’s fashion and design district.
De Goldschmidt will mount temporary exhibitions of his extensive private collection in the rear half of the building, which was built in the 1920s. His holdings are focused on emerging artists whose work speaks to 1960s and ‘70s art movements including the Zero Group, Arte Povera, and conceptual and minimal art.
Cloud Seven’s inaugural exhibition—titled “Inaspettatamente (Unexpectedly)” after an embroidered work by Alighiero Boetti—will include 315 pieces. The collector worked with curator Gregory Lang on the project, but he claimed he also had some help from beyond the grave.
“Boetti is our ghost curator,” de Goldschmidt said. The show, which opens November 11, “is not curated by Boetti’s ghost, but inspired by his life, work, and vision of the world. When we hesitated between one work or another, we tried to guess which one he would have picked based on his practice and legacy. He believed in the magic of numbers, 11 was his favorite number, so the show was set to open on 11.11.”
The collector already owned 10 works by Boetti when he conceived the exhibition, “but of course I had to acquire an eleventh to reach the magic number.”
Spanning the entire building, the show will offer the most extensive look at de Goldschmidt’s private collection to date, including works by Alicja Kwade, Roni Horn, Julian Charrière, Wolfgang Tillmans, and David Wojnarowicz.
Come February 2022, the older half of the building, which dates to the 1820s, will open as an exclusive private members club and coworking space. It will hold two private residences, as well as two lofts for short-term stays, a recording studio, screening room, bar, and fully equipped gym. Laure Prouvost’s toilet-shaped The End of a Dream (2019), which debuted in the underwater universe she created for the French Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, will be installed near the sauna.
The collector said that the project is partly a response to the new working modes and the increasing intertwinement of personal and professional lives sparked by the pandemic. “The generalization of the Internet and smartphones had already blurred the boundaries, but it is indeed the lockdown that has institutionalized working from home,” de Goldschmidt said. “I believe that there are new opportunities that can integrate the best of both worlds.”
Anyone can apply through a simple online form before being vetted by a Cloud Seven membership manager. The pricing structure has not yet been finalized, but the collector said there will be different tiers of membership and prices will be competitive with comparable coworking spaces.
“Even though I do not want to embark on an organized residency program, there will certainly be discounts, or more, for scholars or artists who want to come to Brussels to work on a research or exhibition project,” he added. “We will involve and benefit the artists as they are the spirit that inspires us, making Cloud Seven a place where people will feel invigorated, stimulated, and at home.”
“Inaspettatamente” is on view at Cloud Seven, Brussels, from November 11 to January 30, 2022.
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