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The BPS22 (for Bâtiment Provincial Solvay and Solvay Provincial Building in english) was previously run by the Visual Arts Sector of the Cultural Affairs Department of the Hainaut Province. In 2012, the work of the Visual Arts Sector was separated from the museum activity at the BPS22. The Visual Arts Sector was a subsequent diversification of the Provincial Commission for Leisure Activities (CPLO). This Commission was created after the First World War for the masses of workers who had free time for the first time in their lives. The organisation of cultural activities was synonymous with intellectual and social elevation, from the point of view of participants.

Although it has been redefined and readapted to the realities to changing realities of the contemporary world, this objective of achieving social elevation by accessing the arts remains the founding principle of the BPS22, as well being considered a form of 'democratic development'. The politics of exhibitions and mediation activity is still based on the idea that culture is a vehicle for democracy, as it allows citizens to view the world they live in in a more critical manner. From this perspective, the primary function of the museum is no longer to provide material for aesthetic enjoyment but to fulfil its function of providing critical education, as much through its exhibition programme and the discursive nature of the exhibitions, as through an implementation of mediation activity.

Le Musée a noué des collaborations et des partenariats avec de grandes institutions belges et internationales: le SMAK à Gand, le Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi, le Palais de Tokyo à Paris, le FRAC Grand Large - Hauts-de-France, la Villa Medicis - Académie de France à Rome, etc.
La liste complète des collaborations du BPS22 est disponible ci-dessous.

The project

The BPS22, the Hainaut Province's Museum of Art in Charleroi, is an exhibition space especially dedicated to art forms focusing on current social issues (cf. PHILOSOPHY). The museum's programme gives prominent space to international artists that deal with greater global issues, such as Kendell Geers, Jota Castro, mounir fatmi and Wang Du, as well as cultural phenomena characteristic of our time, such as the world of media and urban sub-cultures like punk or graffiti, for instance.

The BPS22 notably organised the following exhibitions: the major Marthe Wéry exhibition; The Colours of Monochrome at the Museum of Fine Arts in Tournai for the European Capital of Culture, Lille 2004; and the Brussels South Airport at the Krinzinger Projekte in Vienna. The following exhibitions were organised by and took place at the BPS22 itself: Next Flag. African Contemporary Art; Storage. The Museum Depot; Jota Castro's Universal Exhibition 2; Honoré δ'O's The Quest; a recontextualisation of the Belgian contribution to the Venice Beinnial; Johan Muyle's exhibition (No) More Opium for the Masses; and a solo exhibition of the South African Kendall Geers, Wang Du's exhibition Post-Reality, Jean-Luc Moerman's solo show, Connecting everything in partnership with several big international institutions and Mexico : Esperando/Inesperando, from the collection of the mexican collector couple Isabel and Agustín Coppel.The One Shot! Football and Contemporary Art exhibition, designed at the BPS22, was displayed in Mube, Sao Paulo during the Brazilian World Cup in 2014, while Europunk! Punk Visual Art in Europe was shown in Charleroi after Rome and Geneva, but before the City of Music in Paris. T-Tris, the joint exhibition of the Hainaut Province art collection (6000 works stored at the BPS22), the Muhka (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) and the Mudam (the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg) were also a noteworthy project in the BPS22 programme.

In the space of a few years, the BPS22 team formed national and international collaborations and partnerships with institutions that are widely recognised. In Belgium, these institutions include: the Photography Museum in Charleroi and Charleroi/Dance; the S.M.A.K, Ghent; and the Blac, Matrix Art Project, Brussels. Internationally, the BPS22 has worked with the following institutions, among others: the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Criée Centre of Contemporary Art, Rennes; the Migros Museum, Zurich; the FRAC-PACA (Regional Contemporary Art Fund), Marseille; the FRAC-Alsace, Selestat; the Baltic Art Centre, Gateshead; the MAC, Lyon; the Mudam, Luxembourg; the French Academy - Villa Medicis, Rome; and the Mamco, Geneva.

The Museum in 20 seconds