Skip to main content

‘Alles van waarde is weerloos’ a dialogue with the collection DMDC


10.06 - 19.08.2023


Installation views

Press release

‘Alles van waarde is weerloos’ (‘Everything of value is defenceless’):
a dialogue with the DMDC collection – 11 June – 19 August 2023

Hopstreet Gallery has invited Dirk and Machteld to exhibit a selection of works from their collection.

The artists Anna Barham, Sara Bjarland, Michiel Ceulers, Johan Creten, Dominique De Beir, Arpaïs Du Bois, Vincent Geyskens, Tina Gillen, Thomas Huber, Jacqueline Mesmaeker, Laure Prouvost, Emmanuelle Quertain, Anne-Marie Schneider, Charl van Ark and Carole Vanderlinden have been invited to exhibit additional works in dialogue with the works already in the collection and with the new works shown by the other artists.

For Dirk and Machteld, collecting art is about bringing into their home something whose impact they have felt and want to perpetuate. Showing this collection is an act of trust: they can share with others what it is they find valuable. On this journey of discovery, they have only a slight advantage over the visitors to the exhibition. Each of the artists in the selection is showing work that the couple was not familiar with, until now.

Dirk and Machteld met at a painting exhibition, as it was meant to be. He was an architect, she a literary scholar. A common interest in art and philosophy, in beauty that questions, brought them together.

Their collection reflects these interests. They love conceptual art and abstraction, spatial images and structures, fragile poetry, letters and writing, works that create a bridge to words, the sensibility of paper, a material they themselves work with every day.

The collection grows metonymically: from one object comes another. A single artwork makes you curious about the artist’s entire universe. The book that reveals that universe opens the door to another artist and a new world. To see is also to have seen. A gaze expands as it absorbs more. Frank Zappa once said that the human mind is like a parachute: ‘if it’s not open, it doesn’t work.’

Some collectors do not exhibit; they cherish their collections in private. Dirk and Machteld have chosen to share their collection, even if it makes them vulnerable.


Hopstreet Gallery and the collectors Dirk & Machteld want to thank all the artists and the galleries for their contribution: This is Arcade, London; Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp; Nosbaum Reding, Brussels; Gallery Nathalie Obadia, Brussels; Plus-One Gallery, Antwerp; Michel Rein Gallery, Brussels; Gallery Transit, Mechelen; Nadia Vilenne Gallery, Liège; Gallery Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam.