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11.09 2015 > 24.01 2016

2050. A brief history of the future Exhibition

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Louvre Museum come together to present a unique and innovative project!

Introduction by M. Draguet, General Director RMFAB

Paintings, sculptures, photos, videos, installations and digital art: over 70 contemporary works question our future up to 2050. The exhibition of the RMFAB addresses major social themes such as over-consumption, global conflicts, scarcity of natural resources, social and economic inequality, the mutation of the human being. However, these complex topics are challenged by positive and constructive visions, sometimes even with humour. Belgian and international artists such as Sugimoto, Boetti, Kingelez, Warhol, LaChapelle, Gursky, Op de Beeck, Yongliang, Turk, Alÿs,… invite us to (re)think the future.

The complementary Louvre exhibition (24.09.2015 > 04.01.2016) anticipates the future based on a subjective reading of the past and translated by artistic creations from the previous millennia. These two exhibitions are inspired by Jacques Attali’s book A Brief History of the Future (ed. Fayard, translated into 18 languages).


A word from the Curators Concept

Curator P.-Y. Desaive (RMFAB)

The exhibition is an encounter between a book, A Brief History of the Future by Jacques Attali, and the world of contemporary art. The works do not illustrate the text but demonstrate how many of today’s creators treat, at times metaphorically, the broad social issues developed by Jacques Attali in his vision of the future of our world.

The project is in two parts: one at the Louvre Museum, the other at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The part in Paris revolves around a reading of man’s past, which is structured by Jacques Attali in eight different “hearts”, i.e. the cities where the economic evolution is indissolubly connected with technological revolutions such as the development of the merchant galley (Venice), printing (Antwerp), the steam-powered engine (London), and so on. In Brussels the exhibition opens with the ninth “heart” – Los Angeles – the home of the invention of the microprocessor whose development has shaped the new millennium.

The exhibition explores the various social themes studied by Jacques Attali in his book and highlights how visual artists often go beyond a simple observation to take an active part in the debate by developing projects inspired by a sort of creative utopianism.

It includes a section devoted to the representation of time and the changes that this brings – the underlying thesis of A Brief History of the Future – and ends positively with a look towards Utopia, in particular the political utopia based on the construction of Europe. This last theme is the fruit of collaboration between the MRBAB and ENSAV-La Cambre et l’Institut d’Etudes Européennes (ULB) with the support of the Fondation Bernheim.

With this project the Royal Museums of Fine Arts are taking the initiative towards a policy of mounting exhibitions focusing on creative contemporary work. To this end thematic choices are made from the collection of modern and contemporary art, in the hope that these will be once again available for public viewing. Similarly, the museum wishes to strengthen the synergy between itself and private individuals and organizations, who also have an essential role to play in the contemporary art world.

Pierre-Yves Desaive
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Contemporary art & digital media

Jennifer Beauloye
Doctor of art history
Post-doctoral researcher in museology and technologies
co-curator of the exhibition


Bring your smartphones and tablets with you Application

Discover 2050. A Brief History of the Future in the company of Jacques Attali and the curators of the exhibition. This application, rich in images and videos, is an ideal way to prepare for your visit in a convenient manner. It will accompany you from art work to art work and, after your visit to the Museum, it will be a very useful tool for reflecting further on the different themes presented in the exhibition.

Freely available to download from and

For the comfort of all visitors to the exhibition, we kindly ask you to use the headsets to listen to the videos.

A preview...

When the past sheds light on our future Louvre


Discover – as a complement to the Brussels exhibition – « A Brief History of the Future » presented by the Louvre (24.09.2015 > 04.01.2016). Pluridisciplinary, it brings a number of contemporary artists into a dialogue with noteworthy works from different eras, retracing an account of the past in the present, leading in turn to a clearer view of the future.

The viewing itinerary is organized around four themes, each featuring works commissioned from contemporary artists: the ordering of the world, the great empires, the expansion of the world, and the polycentric world we live in today. Mark Manders, Tomás Saraceno, Wael Shawky, Camille Henrot, Isabelle Cornaro, Chéri Samba, and Ai Wei Wei have thus accepted the Louvre's invitation.

These artworks highlight the succession of historical moments of expansion and withdrawal, the building of exchanges between individuals or communities, and the creation of various means of communication to make them possible. Special emphasis is placed on interpreting the artworks and putting them into perspective, particularly through a discussion area created in the last room.

11.09 2015 > 24.01 2016 Visit


Tuesdays – Fridays: 10:00-17:00 / ticket sales close at 16:30
Weekends: 11:00-18:00 / ticket sales close at 17:30

Closed: on Mondays, on 1 and 11 November, 25 December, 1 and 14 January


Get it on Google play& Download on the App Store


Adult € 14,50
Senior (+65 years) € 12,50
Child / Youth (6-25 years) € 8,00
Belgian school teachers € 8,00
Person with a physical or mental disability + leader € 8,00 (each)
Child (aged 5 and under) accompagnied by an adult / Friends of the RMFAB / Press / ICOM € 0,00
FAMILY DEAL : 2 adults + 2 children / young persons (age 25 and under) € 32,00
Group of adults (min. 15 persons) € 10,50
School group (6-25 years) € 3,50

B-Excursion : « Train + Admission »


Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

General entrance
3 Rue de la Régence / Regentschapsstraat 3
Entrance for groups
1 Place royale 1 / Koningsplein 1
Entrance for persons with a disability
1A Rue de la Régence / Regentschapsstraat 1A

1000 Brussels
+32 (0)2 508 32 11


Train   Brussels Central station (Gare centrale)
Metro   line 1 or 5 (stop: Parc or Gare Centrale)
Tram   line 92 or 94 (stop: Royale)
Bus   line 27, 38, 71 or 95 (stop: Royale) / line 29, 63, 65 or 66 (stop: Parc or Gare Centrale)
Car park   Albertine (Rue des Sols - Pl. de la Justice) / 2 Portes (Rue de Namur - Bd. de Waterloo) / Parking Poelaert (Pl. Poelaert)




Visit-debates, workshops for children, courses, meet & greets with the artists and the curators as well as activities taking place outside the Museum walls … Get inspired by this exhibition that  propels you into 2050!

EDUCATEAM is a passionate team of art historians that offer guided tours, courses, workshops and much more during the exhibition 2050. A Brief History of the Future. Children, youth, adults, alone, in groups or with their families: the future belongs to all of us and Educateam would love to open that debate with you.

Site Educateam  -  Agenda


Artists of the future Children

The activities offered in and around the 2050 exhibition are either in French or Dutch. For more information and bookings, please see the French and Dutch versions of this page.

You can always book a guided visit as a group: see section groups

Interactive visits and more Adults

The activities offered in and around the 2050 exhibition are mainly in French or Dutch. For more information and bookings, please see the French and Dutch versions of this page.

You can always book a guided visit as a group: see section groups.


The exhibition spreads all over Brussels! Extra muros

Continue the 2050. A Brief History of the Future experience thanks to a series of events taking place in different cultural institutions in Brussels. Conferences, debates, films … will take you on a journey to the future, whether it be of fears or of dreams.


29 - 31 Oct. 2015 - international colloquium - Academy Palace - Quelle Europe en 2050 ?

Responsables académiques : Hervé Hasquin - Michel Draguet - Jacques Attali

 Inscriptions : first day - second day - third day

2016 - Le Soir - BOZAR - L'économie positive




Can the artists of today announce the world of tomorrow? Together with you, the guides of Educateam deal with a series of social themes in an exhibition that challenges the ways of thinking. Philosophy, politics, ecology, psychology, art history, let’s get our brains working! With one central question: what about us in all of this?


2050 and us Schools

2050, the world and I
primary school
duration : 90 min.
cost guide: €72,5 - WE €77,5
entrance fee per student : €3,5
max. 15 participants per group + 1 free accompanying person
This visit can be turned into a creative workshop of 2 hours!
info & reservation


2050 and I – visit-debate
secondary school + higher education
duration : 90 min.
cost guide: €72,5 - WE €77,5
entrance fee per student : €3,5
max. 15 participants per group +1 free accompanying person
info & reservation

The visit that challenges your way of thinking Adults


duration : 90 min.
cost guide: €87,5 - WE €107,5
entrance fee per persoon : €10,5
max. 20 participants per group
info and reservation

Contemporary art accessible to all Tailor-made visits

The Made to Measure Museum offers guided tours adapted for specific target groups: the four programmes Comet, Sesame, Sign Language and Equinox look forward to welcoming you by appointment and at your convenience.

(only available in French and in Dutch)

 Comet welcomes people with mental or physical disabilities
Equinox organises specially adapted visits for the blind and visually impaired public
Sign Language welcomes the deaf and hearing impaired public
Sesame welcomes groups of children, youth, adults and families attending social and socio-cultural institutions



Exhibition catalogue

Extend your visit with the exhibition catalogue. Rediscover through the societal themes addressed – over-consumption, global conflicts, scarcity of natural resources, social and economic inequalities, mutation of the human being - the many Belgian and international artists presented in the exhibition, such as Sugimoto, Boetti, Kingelez, Warhol, LaChapelle, Gursky, Op de Beeck, Yongliang, Turk, Alÿs…

An exclusive interview with Jacques Attali introduces the catalogue by analyzing the particular importance of art and artists in the perception of our world today and tomorrow. The QR codes reproduced in the catalogue will give you another occasion to see on your smart phone or tablet Jacques Attali’s comments and the digital artworks. There is also an e-book format available, a first for the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (download via Google Play & App Store).

An elegant box containing both catalogues (in French) – from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Louvre - is available exclusively in the two museums.


Jacques Attali, Jennifer Beauloye, Pierre-Yves Desaive, Michel Draguet

Technical info

title: 2050. A Brief History of the Future [expo]
ISBN : 978-94-6161-254-0
release : 11.09.2015
format : hardcover, 24,5 x 28,5 cm
pages : 240
illustrations : 120
languages : English, French, Dutch
publisher : Snoeck - RMFAB
price : € 32

Related books

Available in the Museumshop



The Five Waves of the Future, a film by Laurent Perreau AFTER THE BOOK OF Jacques Attali


artist Mark Titchner @ work in the Museum

For the exhibition 2050. A brief History of the Future, the English artist Mark Titchner made an impressive mural that took him and his assistants a week to accomplish. It is the first time in about ten years that Titchner, a Turner Prize nominee in 2006, has made a masterpiece of this size in situ.

The work of Mark Titchner (Luton, UK, 1973) explores the marketing techniques and belief systems (secular, spiritual, scientific and political) of today’s society. Using references that range from pop culture to religious iconology and political propaganda, his works based on quirky, even outmoded ideologies question in impersonal language the almost mystical messages to which we have always clung. More than 7 metres long, Let the Future Tell the Truth. Another World Is Possible (2015) fills a large rectangle covered with motifs from Victorian decorative patterns and presented in garish colours. The text itself is formed by two borrowed phrases: the first from the famous nineteenth-century inventor Nikola Tesla (Let the Future Tell the Truth) and second from the slogan of the World Social Forum’s annual conference (Another World Is Possible). Although such statements might be thought ironic, they can, according to Titchner, also be used to inspire, communicate and rally people together.

3D reproduction of the Venus of Stratzing

Venus of Galgenberg by Fuel3D on Sketchfab

A partnership was formed with the Natural History Museum of Vienna and the company Trideus (in cooperation with Alpha Studios) especially for the exhibition « 2050 ». Through the 3D digitization of the figurine from Stratzing (Venus from Galgenberg), a showpiece of the exhibition dating back to the Palaeolithic era, the Museums wanted to bring modern reproduction techniques and the future role of Museums and museum objects into question.




purchase online tickets

Online tickets are available in the following categories:

Adult € 14,50
Senior (+65 years) € 12,50
Child / Youth (6-25 years) € 8,00
Belgian school teachers € 8,00
Person with a physical or mental disability + leader € 8,00 (each)
Group of adults (min. 15 persons) € 10,50

The other types of tickets are available on site at the cash registers (Rue de la Régence 3 – 1000 Brussels) or, for school groups and guided visits, by reservation (reservation@fine-arts-museum.be)

Please note:
•    e-tickets with a reduced fee will be checked at the entrance (valid proof required)
•    e-tickets give you direct access to the exhibition on the chosen day and time mentioned on the ticket
•    purchased e-tickets can never be reimbursed



Organized by the Royal museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, in partnership with the Louvre Museum.

Exhibition credits

Curators: Pierre-Yves Desaive, Jennifer Beauloye
Scientific advisors: Jacques Attali, Jean De Loisy
Thanks to: Michel Draguet, General director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Project coordinator: Gaëlle Dieu
Setting design: Thu-Maï Dang
Graphic design: Piet Bodyn & Vladimir Tanghe (RMFAB) / Typographie “2050” © Moritz Resl

This exhibition was made possible by the efforts and professionalism of the entire Museums' team

The exhibition shows artworks of over forty museums, galleries and artists:
Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels ; Andreas Gursky ; CAAC - The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva ; Carroll/Fletcher gallery, London ; Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco ; Collection Antoine de Galbert, Paris ; Collection Francis Mary, Brussels ; Collection of Barbara and Howard Morse, New York ; Collection Société Générale, Paris ; Ella, Aedan & Daria Collection ; Galerie 20.21, Essen ; Galerie EIGEN + ART, Leipzig / Berlin ; Galerie Paris-Beijing ; Galila's Collection, Brussels ; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York ; Hall Collection ; Heath Bunting ; Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels ; Jozsa Gallery, Brussels ; MAXXI. National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome ; Meessen De Clercq, Brussels ; MoMA, New-York ; Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow ; Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna ; Olbricht Collection ; Pace Gallery, New York ; Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco ; Robert Mann Gallery, New York ; Saatchi Gallery, London ; Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne ; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London ; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh ; Triumph Gallery, Moscow ; Victoria & Albert Museum, London ; Vilma Gold, London ; White Cube, London ; Wolfgang Staehle; Xavier Hufkens Gallery ; Xippas Galleries

Website credits

Coordinators: Lies Van de Cappelle, Karine Lasaracina
Graphic design: Typi Design
Video Producers: RTBF (Brussels), Vladimir Tanghe (RMFAB), Jose Huedo
Social Media: Pictawall, Sharingbox

Collaborators RMFAB:
Samir Al-Haddad, Isabelle Bastaits, Gladys Vercammen-Grandjean, Myriam Dom, Marianne Knop, Géraldine Barbery, Laurent Germeau, Koenraad Reynaert, Lieve Coene, Timothy Huw Davies


The press releases are accessible to the public. The ‘Press Room’, where high resolution images of the exhibition are available, can only be consulted by the press. A login and password can be requested from Samir Al-Haddad.

Press release Press Room

Press relations

Samir Al-Haddad
T + 32 (0)2 508 34 08
M + 32 (0)472 50 00 14

Communication service

Isabelle Bastaits
Head of Communications & External Relations
T + 32 (0)2 508 34 09
M + 32 (0)479 24 99 04

General address

Museumstraat / Rue du Musée 9
B - 1000 Brussels


Organize your nocturne or event in an exceptional place

Various areas of the Museums are available for hire. Combine your evening with a private tour of our collections or a temporary exhibition to be sure of a high quality event.

Information, reservation and coordination

Caroline Haraké

T + 32 (0)2 508 34 12
Museumstraat / Rue du Musée 9
B - 1000 Brussels

Available rooms


150 p. walking dinner
3, Rue de la Régence





+/- 55m x 18m
700 p. in walking dinner
400 p. in seated dinner
3, Rue de la Régence



Magritte Room

+/- 17m x 18m
220 p. in walking dinner
150 p. in seated dinner
1, Place Royale




Guided evening tours - price

€125 per guide - 1 guide for max. 20 persons


T + 32 (0)2 508 34 96