CENTRALE for contemporary art

The ambition of CENTRALE for contemporary art is to give contemporary visual arts the widest possible audience and make people discover contemporay artists from Brussels within an international perspective. This centre for contemporary art of Brussels City seeks to raise questions about today’s society. The idea is to be a space that is open to the world, Europe, the city and the neighbour-hood, and to respond to the specific characteristics of Brussels, with its diverse population and rich cultures.


CENTRALE (c) Johan Dehon


A strong Brussels identity in an international perspective

Since its creation by the City of Brussels in 2006, CENTRALE, installed in a former power plant, has been intended as a place for dialogue and debate among artists, collectors, thinkers, professors, etc. and the public.

CENTRALE produces thematic exhibitions as well as projects designed by pairings of artists from Brussels and abroad, and actively supports young artists in dedicated spaces, CENTRALE.box and CENTRALE.lab.

CENTRALE is open to the city and its residents and hopes to strengthen social bonds. This desire has translated into organising activities for various audience interests and expectations: participatory projects, inter-generational workshops, guided tours, school field trips, artist meet-ups, conferences, and screenings in partnership with cultural operators. Most specifically, cultural mediation addresses associations operating in the neighbourhood and users in the areas surrounding CENTRALE, thus giving priority to local and field work.

Supported collaborations are also developed with the art schools in the capital and other institutions that promote contemporary creative work in all its forms.

Distant proximity

CENTRALE occupies a unique place in the cultural landscape of Brussels and actively participates in the proliferation of contemporary art in the capital. Original projects primarily designed and produced from a humanistic vision of art, encourage going beyond the categories and hierarchies in the field of contemporary art. Everyone: visitors, artists (including those on the margins), art lovers, collectors, etc. is invited to contribute to the discussion on creativity and its limits.

Based on this open and broad definition of art, CENTRALE contributes an opening to the world in all its complexity and diversity. This is how art can change society, the view we have of others and of things, and help transcend social, racial, and cultural divisions. A way to highlight that a contemporary art centre must be a platform for exchange between society and creativity through exhibitions and the events that accompany them (performances, concerts, conferences, workshops, etc.).

An electric history
CENTRALE is located in Brussels first electric power station (1893). It preserves the name and semi-industrial architecture from that era.

Archive of the first electric power station of Brussels
Archive of the first electric power station of Brussels