ECHO. Wrapped in Memory

ECHO reflects on the intimate connection between clothing and memory through the lens of Louise Bourgeois, Simone Rocha and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

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Description of the exhibition

ECHO reflects on the intimate connection between clothing and memory through the lens of three artists whose work shares a tactile and emotional intensity: artist Louise Bourgeois, designer Simone Rocha and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

This exhibition is about the memories of infancy, childhood and motherhood, ageing and nostalgia, handmaking and repair, and both the physical and emotional memories of clothing.

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ECHO. Wrapped in Memory

ECHO. Wrapped in Memory
Graphic design: Paul Boudens | Video: Jeroen Lommelen | Music: Collection Louise Bourgeois Archive, The Easton Foundation, New York

ECHO is a conversation between artists of different generations and perspectives, and it is Louise Bourgeois, Simone Rocha and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker who guide this story. Three artists, all working in different disciplines, each evoking echoes of the past in their work. In their own unique ways, they each weave memories of clothing and textiles into their artistic language. What they create comes from a personal place, but the effects reach beyond the personal and touch many facets of the human experience.

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    Stany Dederen
  • Louise Bourgeois – Untitled, 2007
    Photo: Christopher Burke, © The Easton Foundation/SABAM Belgium 2023 | Exhibition view: Stany Dederen
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    Stany Dederen
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    Stany Dederen

It gives me great pleasure to hold on to my clothes, my dresses, my stockings, I have never thrown away a pair of shoes of mine in 20 years […] The pretext is that they are still good – it’s my past and as rotten as it was, I would like to take it and hold it tight in my arms.

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)

ECHO also showcases an unknown side of the MoMu Collection to highlight the expert work of textile conservators. Working with a collection of more than 38,000 objects gives MoMu’s curators and researchers access to the echoes of a myriad of personal histories and events. Smells, stains and tears in clothing, or the way certain garments were altered or repaired in the past, are an inexhaustible source of stories and embody the passing of time. ECHO features a unique selection of objects from the MoMu Collection in different stages of degradation with their flaws, discolourations and traces of damage, and with just as many intriguing stories.

  • Weighted silk satin bodice, c.1880-1900
    Study Collection inv. ST81124A © MoMu, Photo: Frederik Vercruysse
  • Simone Rocha, Autumn-Winter 2023-24
    Jacob Lillis
  • Louise Bourgeois – The Feeding, 2007. Private collection, New York
    Courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Photo: Christopher Burke, © The Easton Foundation/SABAM Belgium 2023

Featuring work by Louise Bourgeois, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Marianne Berenhaut, Billie Zangewa, Cassi Namoda, Cathy Wilkes, Harley Weir, Maya Barrera, Martin Margiela, Liz Magor and Laila Gohar.

Rosas, Sola, 2023

Rosas, Sola, 2023
Video: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Ruben Desiere, Olivia Rochette | Music: F. Schubert. Fantasia in F minor for piano four hands, D.940 Piano Samson Tsoy (primo) Pavel Kolesnikov (secondo)

Exhibition under the lead of
Curator: Elisa De Wyngaert
Exhibition design: Janina Pedan
Graphic design: Paul Boudens

Campaign imagery:
Louise Bourgeois in her home on 20th Street, New York, wearing her Helmut Lang coat, 2009. © Alex Van Gelder, from the series Mumbling Beauty, Louise Bourgeois, 2008-2010;
Simone Rocha, Autumn-Winter 2019-20 © Photo: Harley Weir;
Dries Van Noten, Autumn-Winter 2021-22, Collection film choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker © Photo: Casper Sejersen/Artistry Global.

© Quote: Louise Bourgeois, loose sheet of writing, c.1963; LB-0202 (Louise Bourgeois Archive/The Easton Foundation, New York).


MoMu is committed to pursuing sustainability in all facets of the exhibition. After this exhibition, the Kvadrat curtains will be donated to the Co-Haty project of the Metalab organisation in Ukraine. All scenography elements will be reused in future exhibitions or donated to non-profit organisations to minimise waste.