Since the dawn of time, men have built walls, to lock themselves in, to protect themselves, or even to express themselves. Whether they are historical, psychological or even vegetal, these ramparts have established themselves in our daily lives and reveal many facets of our reality.
With the exhibition “Extra Muros, beyond the walls”, Europa Expo invites the public from 22 April to discover the wall in all its states through immersive, interactive and surprising scenery. From the Wall of China to the Berlin Wall to the Wall of Sound, “Extra muros, beyond the walls” offers an original reading of the world through its iconic walls.
Benefiting from objects and works of art from private collections as well as from Belgian and foreign institutions, including the Louvre Museum, Europa Expo signs, once again, an exhibition with international status that will not leave indifferent.
While previous exhibitions covered historical subjects (Napoleon, Tutankhamen) or atmosphere (I love Japan), the exhibition “Extra Muros, beyond the walls” approaches a universal theme and questions the world through walls to better understand them and thus better understand us. Philippe Raxhon, professor of contemporary history at the University of Liège and novelist, is its scientific curator.
an exhibition in three parts
Far from a chronological journey, the exhibition is divided into three successive parts in order to emphasize the polysemy of walls: Walls that oppress and enclose, followed by walls of memory and those that protect, to end with walls that express, the release walls.
The starting point evokes the Planck Wall, the boundary between the physical world and the pure mathematical world. This border is the time limit between before and after Big Bang. This membrane, enclosed in the space-time cone, contains the whole universe and yet is even smaller than that of an atom.
Our skull, too, is a wall that man has tried to cross since prehistoric times. Through a magnificent collection of tools, bones, and even mummies, the visitor discovers the amazing manipulation techniques used by medicine throughout history to understand the brain and mental illnesses. After the Great Wall of China, the Wall of Babylon, Berlin and today the anti-migrant wall or the sanitary walls that protect us from the Covid-19 pandemic, become new borders imposed by men. The exhibition also highlights the walls offered by nature that contribute to the richness of our environment, such as the Great Barrier Reef or the Great Green Wall.
Art, the high point of the course
Art is the highlight of this exhibition. The wall has, in fact, often been exploited as a medium of expression: street art, wall art, etc. The works of great artists, such as Shamsia Hassani, an Afghan graffiti artist and associate professor at the University of Kabul or Lord Anthony Cahn, demonstrate this liberating role inherent in this mode of expression. Penetrating paintings made by prisoners offer the visitor another look at prison life, on the inhumanity of isolation between four walls. Finally, the Liège-based association Creham highlights the original works of its residents to enliven the wall of laughter and thus break the wall of mental disability.
The exhibition also offers an escape game as well as an immersive and interactive tour, making the experience unique to share with family, thanks to the Hovertone agency that uses new technologies to create interactive visual experiences.