Hans Theys is a twentieth-century philosopher and art historian. He has written and designed dozens of books on the works of contemporary artists and published hundreds of essays, interviews and reviews in books, catalogues and magazines. All his publications are based on actual collaborations and conversations with artists.

This platform was developed by Evi Bert (M HKA / Centrum Kunstarchieven Vlaanderen) in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (Research group Archivolt), M HKA, Antwerp and Koen Van der Auwera. We also thank Idris Sevenans (HOR) and Marc Ruyters (Hart Magazine).


Trying out the hanging of the flying platform ‘Bernouili’ for the show ‘Xanadu!' at S.M.A.K., Ghent, 2010. ‘Bernouilli’ was built by Panamarenko and Hans Theys in 1995. With Frederika Huys, Dirk Pauwels, Zoro Feigl, Panamarenko and Tamara Van San.

Curious about the actual artistic practice, in 1989, Theys decided to collaborate with Panamarenko to make sculptures, build exhibitions, write texts, shoot photographs and design and print catalogues. Gradually, he expanded his activities as a participant observer to work closely with dozens of artists so as to create their work, build exhibitions, photograph and record their activities, write texts and design books. Subscribing to critic Viktor Sjklovski's assertion that an artwork makes itself understood by differing from all that previously existed, he looks for what sets these artists apart in their work and seeks to unlock this specificity in texts, books, videos and exhibitions. The texts are based mainly on his own experiences and conversations with the artists. They were all read and approved by the artists in question.

Berlinde De Bruyckere

(c)Berlinde De Bruyckere - photo: Hans Theys

Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office

(c)Luc Deleu - photo: Hans Theys, 2001


(c)Hans Theys and Panamarenko, June 1990 - photo: Xavier De Clippeleir

Walter Swennen

(c)Walter Swennen - photo: Hans Theys