More promised than delivered: Alfredo Jaar’s ‘Let there be light’ (ING, Brussels)

Those of you living in Brussels will undoubtedly have seen the posters, banners and adverts. Having visited Let there be light (through December 10), I feel a gentle warning is in order here. The publicity campaign makes one believe this is a large exhibition devoted to the work of Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar, which means you might be disappointed when you visit the ING Cultural Centre near the Magritte Museum. Let there be light comprises just 12 works and so it feels more like a small gallery show than an extensive overview. Another disappointment is that it centres around the big box containing the (ever impressive) Sound of silence installation, which has been on show already during a couple of recent exhibitions in Belgium. It certainly would have been nice if a bit more of Jaar’s other work would have balanced this. Let there be light is labelled as a ‘satellite exhibition’ of Newtopia, and that’s exactly what it is. Do go to Mechelen first, for an exhibition that is really worth the trip (review here), then use your ticket later on to visit Let there be light for free.


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