In 1986, Jan Hoet – the then director of the Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent, now S.M.A.K. – organised the extra muros exhibition ‘Chambres d’Amis’. This exhibition presented contemporary art in private residences at various locations in Ghent. Daniel Buren was one of the 51 international artists who created a work in situ, integrated in the daily living space of the residents who were willing to open up their house for the artist and subsequently to the public. Buren’s work, Le Décor et son Double was conceived as a work in two parts. In accordance with the concept of ‘Chambres d’Amis’, Daniel Buren realised his in situ work in the guest room of the private residence of Annick and Anton Herbert. He applied his ‘outil visuel’ on the walls of the guest room.
The artist, however, refused to entirely abandon the space of the museum – as Hoet intended it – and placed a complete and fully identical reconstruction of the guest room within the walls of the public Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, which was still part of the Museum of Fine Arts at that time. At the end of the exhibition, the Herberts retained the intervention in their guest room and the work currently forms part of the Collection of Herbert Foundation. The public part of Le Décor et son Double was reconstructed in 2011 and included in the collection of S.M.A.K.
Within the framework of the exhibition The Collection (1) Hightlights for a future, both parts of Le Décor et son Double are once again being presented. The public part can be visited at its original location in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. The private part can be visited at Herbert Foundation upon reservation on Thursdays, once a month.