Art's Birthday 2024. A Peace Smile

Join us in celebrating the 1,000,061st anniversary of art. You are invited to ART'S BIRTHDAY at M HKA on 17 January. Free entry for all, for an absolute bucket-load of fun, drinks and art!

In 1963, renowned Fluxus artist Robert Filliou declared his own birthday of 17 January as the official birthday of art. According to Filliou, exactly one million years previous someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water, marking the sublime genesis of art. Since then, Art’s Birthday has remained as a worldwide celebration of the continued existence of that thing we have come to love (and sometimes hate) called ‘art’.

And so, for this reason, M HKA celebrates the 1,000,061st birthday of art on Wednesday 17 January 2024. You are invited to join us in the company of artists for an evening of performances, activities, music and enjoyment.

The birthday party will include a programme crafted especially for the evening. Esteemed guests include: Nástio Mosquito providing the ever-insightful State of the Art talk. Brand new performances by Elen Braga and Messieurs Delmotte. A selection of artworks by Robert Filliou. Concert performances by art/music acts The Zangles and Sinaas. The ‘Dorothy Iannone / Robert Filliou Games Room’ presented for the evening by special guest hosts in the current exhibition of artwork by Filliou’s friend Dorothy Iannone. DJ-set by Bayny (Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx). A special artist’s edition by Laure Prouvost available only for visitors to the party. And, naturally, a birthday cake created by Tramaine de Senna.

This edition of Art’s Birthday takes its title from Filliou’s postcard artwork A Peace Smile (1984) in recognition of his dedication to promoting peace through his art and life. In fact, for Filliou, understanding what peace is was given the status of an art form. “We’re all against war. But what are we for? Peace, we say. What is peace? Nobody quite knows”, he stated.

We seek to acknowledge that whilst art can find profound meaning in allowing artists to speak and act against war and violence, it can also help us envisage a peaceful world, and in hours of darkness to find joy in its freedom, humour and absurdity.

Also happening at Art's Birthday 2024. A Peace Smile