After the passing away of Jan Hoet in 2014, the family handed his private collection of books and notebooks to the museum Dhondt-Dhaenens enabling the museum to access this collection as part of her all-embracing reflection on collection building. Since very recently the personal library of Jan Hoet is housed in the brand new The Wunderkammer Residence, a project by artist Hans Op de Beeck in cooperation with studio MOTO, located just behind the MDD on the river Lys.
In dialogue with the family five artists were selected with whom Jan Hoet had a special collaboration during his life: Marina Abramovic, Michael Buthe, Mario Merz, Panamarenko en Royden Rabinowitch. The choice of these artists does not count as a definitive selection, on the contrary: with this exhibition MDD merely wants to shed a corner of the veil on the intellectual wealth that a deeper investigation of this collection could contain. On behalf of MDD, researcher Melanie Deboutte brings together various elements in the exhibition, such as letters and works of art from Hoet's private collection, supplemented with documentary photographic and video material and finally publications from the library. For each artist, research has been done to define the traces left behind of the collaboration with the exhibition maker.
Jan Hoet is a pivotal figure in the development of contemporary art in Belgium. From his appointment as curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent (1975) to the founding of S.M.A.K. (1999) and MARTa (2005): he fought with fervent dedication for a place where art and the artist can find a home. Hoet's instinctive approach and the close ties he maintained with artists were typical of his often experiential exhibitions. Prominent projects such as Art in Europe after '68 (1980) and Chambres d'Amis (1986) brought him into the international spotlight, which shortly afterwards led to his appointment as artistic director of DOCUMENTA IX (1992).