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Chida, Seduction, Hybrids: Composite Creatures from Sagas, Myths and Legends, De Warande, Turnhout (BE), 9 Jun – 17 nov, 2024

De Warande in Turnhout (BE) hosts the exhibition 'Hybrids' from June 9 to November 17, 2024; an expo about miraculous creatures and their ever-evolving meaning. Koen Vanmechelen's hybrid artworks 'Chida' and 'Seduction' - crossings between humans, mythology and animal - are part of this unique exhibition that brings together historical artifacts, curiosities and the work of contemporary artists into one large cabinet of curiosities. The exhibition is curated by artist Tom Liekens (artist) and Glenn Geerinck (curator de Warande).



In biology, hybrid means crossbreed or bastard, the result of sexual reproduction of  two different types of plants or animals.


Also the fantastic creatures from myths, sagas and legends are often hybrids composed of different, often very different animals. Not infrequently, they also appear to be a mixture of humans and animals. Such representations and descriptions of hybrid creatures are found in all cultures around the world and have existed since ancient times. Many we still know today and are immensely popular in movies, books and games. They are also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for contemporary artists.


'Hybrids: Composite Creatures from Sagas, Myths and Legends'  tells the genesis of these wondrous creatures and how their significance evolved over time, and in different cultures. The exhibition brings together art, archaeological and ethnographic artefacts with natural history objects and curiosities from all over the globe.


An exhibition about unicorns, mermaids and dragons. About the sphinx, the centaur and the minotaur. About discoveries, forgeries, religion and superstition.


Koen Vanmechelen's hybrids

Crossing and hybridity have been at the heart of Koen Vanmechelen's work for years. The curators chose two of Vanmechelen's works; ‘Chida’ and ‘Seduction’. Chida, a stuffed lynx with a winged marble body, and Seduction, a crossing of Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility, and a bison in pink marble, crouched on a human skull.  The sculptures celebrate the cycle of perpetual mutation that elevates living beings to divinity. There is no limit to the generative power of nature.



Participating artists

Emma Ainala, David Altmejd, Roger Van Akelyen, Antoine Banier Abbé, Mohammad Barrangi, Tilo Baumgärtel, Fred Bervoets, Cristian Bors, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Jules Dalou, Bart Van Dijck/Ignace Cami, Jacques Callot, Nick Cave, Caroline Coolen , Thiemoko Claude Diarra, Gustave Doré, Albrecht Dürer, James Ensor, Max Ernst, Nick Ervinck, Xander Faes, Frans Floris, Maïder Fortuné, Conrad Gesner, Pascale Geulleaume, Charles De Geyter, Lucy Glendinning, Hendrick Goltzius, Axel Goossens, Francisco Goya, J.J. Grandville, Joos Habraken, Kati Heck, Wim Hermans, Grigorios Ilaridis, Quinten Ingelaere, Rahim Issaka, Kawahara Keiga, John Jonston, Karel Laenen, Tom Liekens, Eva De Leener, Viktor Leestmans, Hans Lemmen, Edward Lipski, Gaetano Lodi, Charlotte Lybeer, Frans Masereel, Koen Van Mechelen, George Méliès, Warre Mulder, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Sharon Van Overmeiren, Michael James O’Brien, Imge Özbilge, Mu Pan, Bernard Picart, Tom Poelmans, Yannick Pollet, Artys Quellinus de Oude, Jon Rafman, Odilon Redon, Antoine Rogiers, Félicien Rops, Pieter Paul Rubens, P. Gasparis Schotti, Guy Slabbinck, Léon Spilliaert, Helmut Stallaerts, Jan Švankmajer, David Teniers de Jonge, Pei-Hsuan Wang, Joel-Peter Witkin, Dominick Verschelde, Crispijn van de Passe



With loans from the collections of the Museums of Art and History, KMSKA, The Royal Library, GUM, Wereldmuseum Nederland, Musea Turnhout and various private collections, among others.


To accompany the exhibition, a 244 p full color viewing book full of wonder,  A5, published by Stockmans Art Books. With textual essays by Leen Huet (art historian) and Frank Herreman Frank (former curator of the Ethnographic Museum of Antwerp).






De Warande

Warandestraat 42,

2300 Turnhout

9 Jun – 17 NOV, 2024

open Wednesday to Sunday

from 10 am to 5 pm

opening: Saturday, 8 June at 8 pm




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