The Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain will be exceptionally closed on Saturday 13 July from 4 pm. We advise you to arrive for the visit of the exhibitions Josef and Anni Albers and Beyond the lines at 3 pm at the latest. Thank you for your understanding.

Art can’t save people. However, the means of art makes dialogue possible, which invokes the action that can preserve humankind.” ___Günther Uecker


The Boghossian Foundation presents the exhibition Trees for memories with works by 31 internationally renowned artists that takes a very special stand for peace, one century after the end of the First World War.

All works have in common that their starting point is a square block of oak (30 x 30 x 30 cm). The wood originates from a section of the front in Alsace, and still bears traces of the war. Injuries to the wood, the encapsuled remains of metal projectiles and black discolouration make the wooden elements both relics and witnesses of the war.

For the occasion of Trees for memories, artists united to give a voice to these logs and tell their stories. The exhibition is intended to set an example of peaceful coexistence without violence and presents works from internationally renowned artists from countries militarily involved in the war, making the statement that art and artists can help to change the world, to a more peaceful coexistence.

“During the First World War, trees were silent witnesses; if they could raise their voices, they would tell us a story of unspeakable suffering. Some of them were hit by artillery, maybe hand grenades, rifle bullets; all have seen the same horror. For one hundred years, the traces of it lay invisible under the bark of the trees – until today” says Mattijs Visser, curator of the collective show.


After an idea of Volker-Johannes Trieb, the works have been shown at the Varusschlacht Museum in Kalkriese and the German Bundestag in Berlin. The exhibition will be presented at the European Parlement in Brussels in November 2021 before being shown at the United Nations in New York, in 2022.

Bruised wooden blocks for a magnificent plea for peace.

La Libre Belgique, June 12, 2021
Hide See all images