Based on certain Flemish and Dutch cities, this exhibition shows how cities promote themselves and make use of their skyline to establish their image, both in the past and today, worldwide and across the centuries.

This exhibition revolves around the skylines of cities and looks beyond the skylines as we know them. A skyline is a city’s portrait that shows the kind of city it wants to be. It looks at how the image we have of something goes hand in hand with recognisability and truthfulness, in the past and present.

In the past, church towers and belfries dominated the view, now office blocks and residential towers do too. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest, the tower of Babel the most iconic, the Booktower the wisest.

Buildings in cities are becoming increasingly higher and they do not only need to be functional and architectural, but there is also the aspect of fascination and symbolism, of reaching for the sky and displaying power. 

This exhibition focuses on Ghent and Rotterdam, on high-rise buildings in the Low Countries. It compares the historical skyline of the Manhattan of the Middle Ages to the modern skyline of the Manhattan on the Meuse.

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