Dirk Snauwaert (born in Tielt in 1963) is the artistic director of WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels since 2005. He was formerly joint artistic director of the IAC Institut d’Art Contemporain in Villeurbanne/Lyon, responsible for the programming of exhibitions and the development of the FRAC Rhône-Alpes collection. From 1996 to 2001, he was director of the Munich Kunstverein. From 1989 to 1995, he was responsible for the programming of contemporary art at the Exhibitions Association of the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels.
He organised and co-ordinated monographic and thematic exhibitions. He lectures and publishes regularly on art and visual culture. He was a member of the “Advisory board of the Flemish Community of Belgium and also responsible for its acquisitions between 2004-2006. Among his other positions, Dirk Snauwaert sat on several juries and committees such as “l’Action Française d’Action Artistique-AFAA in 2001-2002, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogram (in 1997-2002), in the international board of the Generali Foundation Vienna in 2010-2012, of the Office for Contemporary Art Oslo, advisory member of the Allianz Cultural Foundation (D), the acquisition committee of FRAC Pays de la Loire (F).
For WIELS he recently curated the exhibitons of Anne Mie Van Kerckhoven, Bruno Serralongue, "Expats-Clandestines", Luc Tuymans, Andro Wekua, "Rehabilitation", Francis Alÿs, David Claerbout and Rosemarie Trockel. He also curated the exhibition by Jef Geys for the Belgian pavilion at the 53 Venice Biennial, as well as Ideolect, a project of poetry and visual arts in Bruges.
WIELS is an international laboratory for the creation and the diffusion of contemporary art. It eludes monolithic definitions such that of museum, kunsthalle or exhibitions gallery, pursuing a set of complementary functions that encompasses activities related to exhibition, production and education that overlap and influence each other. Large-scale exhibitions (monographic exhibitions of national and international artists, group exhibitions, thematic exhibitions...), closely examine the evolution of the contemporary creation. The emphasis is laid on information, analysis and sharing in order to participate in the promotion and the understanding of contemporary art. The international artist-in-residence program focuses on innovation, research, creation and advancement, and stimulates connections between local and international actors. Mediation and education programs through didactic workshops, teaching projects and seminars for community, youth, seniors, and schools.
In addition, WIELS organizes several projects outside the institution spaces, promoting programs to engage neighborhood inhabitants, through ad-hoc workshop and artist-led refurbishments of public sphere and public art projects.