Jef Geys


Jef Geys, one of the Belgium’s most prominent and prolific artists, has created an interactive installation in Antwerp’s Central Park for this edition of De Sokkel. The plinth is transformed into an advertising column.

There is an empty plinth or “sokkel” in Antwerp’s Central Park. Since 2011, the Klein Antwerp community association and the Middelheim Museum have added a cultural dimension to the park by inviting an (inter)national artist twice a year to share his or her topical interpretation of this empty plinth. 


About De Sokkel #7

Jef Geys (b. 1934, Belgium) gathers experts from various disciplines to present new insights, about art and art history and social issues.

For this edition of De Sokkel, he created an interactive installation in Antwerp’s Central Park. The plinth is transformed into a poster pillar. As a result, the residents and visitors of Antwerp consciously or unconsciously contribute to the creative process. Graffiti, advertising, wanted ads, tags or targeted creative expressions continually add a new layer, form and material to the work. De Sokkel will be a work in progress for six months and will be regularly photographed during this time. The photos will become part of the heritage artist’s comprehensive archive.


Antwerp central park: on the side of Quinten Matsyslei, near the play area and the skate park.

De Sokkel (The Plinth) is a co-production of the Klein Antwerpen neighbourhood association and the Middelheim Museum. With the support of the District of Antwerp.


Het Koffieonderleggersdagboek

Much like he invited visitors and residents of the city to engage in a dialogue with him for De Sokkel, Jef Geys invited the authors Joris Note and Hans Ulrich Obrist for an edition of the Kempens Informatieboek to exchange ideas based on his own notes and drawings.

Joris Note has written collections of stories such as Het uur van de ongehoorzaamheid (1995) and Kindergezang (1999), the literary novel Hoe ik mijn horloge stuksloeg (2006) and the excellent collection of essays Wonderlijke Wapens (2012). Hans Ulrich Obrist is the director of the Serpentine Gallery in London. He has published an endless list of publications including Do it (2004), Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Curating * But Were Afraid To Ask (2011) and the endless series Conversation Series.

Jef Geys invites them to respond to his own diary notes, which he makes every day on the paper cup placemats when he drinks his cup of coffee in a pub in Balen. Their correspondence is bundled in the publication “Koffieonderleggersdagboek”.

The three authors reveal mechanisms which remain invisible to the “naked eye” in the art world and in society through their highly personal selections, insights and associations.