Nature Morte/Nature Vivante

24.11.19 to 08.03.20


What we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning, and to this extent man only encounters himself.
- Werner Heisenberg

Since the late 17th century, the French expression nature morte (literally ‘dead nature’) has been used to refer to still life, the field of painting that approaches nature from a sensual perspective and explicitly alludes to its fragility and ephemerality, and indirectly also to the vanity of human intervention on its composite elements. Over time, the term has extended to include any arrangement of inanimate objects organised in a certain fashion with a symbolic intention, which is meant to induce a poetic emotion. In our so-called “anthropocene” age, man’s unwarranted action is contributing to the impermanence of nature, or even its annihilation. With this sombre outlook, the term nature morte takes on even greater relevance. Yet nature has a formidable capacity for regeneration. Works by numerous creative minds question, provoke or encourage mechanisms that nature uses to underpin its intensity, reproduction and durability. In reality, each state of matter is a snapshot in a long, slow, evolutionary process of transformation, aggregation, assimilation and decomposition… Nature is very much alive!

In this exhibition organised at the CID, designers, architects and artists present intensive, practical or experimental research that questions the relationship between man and nature, calling in equal measure on ecology, science, our moral conscience and artistic creation.

Nature morte/Nature vivante reveals how much man’s ambiguous relationship with nature can be both perverse and inspiring.


Alexi Williams Wynn
Andrea Branzi
Ani Liu
Anne Ausloos
Ariel Schlesinger
Arvid & Marie
Babs Decruyenaere
Bas Smets & Wannes Peremans
Benjamin Verdonck
Diana Scherer
Eline Willemarck
Elissa Lacoste
Erez Nevi Pana
Erine Wyckmans
Gabriel Rico
Hilde De Decker
Hongjie Yang
Jean-Philippe Tromme
Lieve Van Stappen
Lilla Tabasso
Lois Weinberger
Maarten Van den Eynde
Marlène Huissoud
Michel Blazy
Nel Verbeke
Nurit Bar-Shai
Octave Vandeweghe
Roland Persson
Scholten & Baijings
Studio Klarenbeek & Dros et Atelier Luma Arles
Studio Nienke Hoogvliet
Studio Wieki Somers
Tania De Bruycker
Tony Matelli
Various Artists
Vincent Egon Verschueren
Xandra Van Der Eijk


24 November 2019 to 08 March 2020
  • Curator
    Veerle Wenes
    assistée par Françoise Foulon et Ralph Collier