Wondrous Fabric

until February 10, 2018

Wondrous Fabric

Mysticism in digital and religious art

In Wondrous Web, mysticism is the binding factor. The divinity of eighteenth-century chasubles and relics is mirrored by the power of big data and algorithms. The Baroque style of religious art has been given new form through digital imaging. The worlds of God and Google have more in common than we think.


Miracles can still happen. If we experience something incomprehensible, we can try to analyse and understand it. Or we can accept that it is something miraculous, which is real and valuable. That can sometimes generate a religious awareness, a feeling that there is a greater power that sets everything in motion, with a reason.

Since medieval times, we have increasingly understood how the world works. And we have used that knowledge to develop countless smart inventions to change the world. Nature and technology are now so closely intertwined that a new sense of wonder has arisen. It is as though the ‘demystification’ of the world has been turned back a few centuries.

Frederik Heyman

Flemish photographer and artist Frederik Heyman has used these themes to develop a room-filling high-tech installation. Stratum is a holographic collage of short films. Heyman worked with others to create the installation, including artist Pieter Van den Bosch and graphic designer Hansje van Halem. Religion, mysticism and technology come together in Stratum to create a transparent, virtual reality – as a wondrous web.

The exhibition

Wondrous Web comprises three exhibition rooms. In one room, you are introduced to the digital art of modern-day artists. Each in their own way, they explore the digital world. Critical, observing, philosophical or light-hearted. In the room opposite, you can see religious art as a source of insight and wonder, expressed in the Baroque style of the chasubles and relics. Here, there are also a number of contemporary works. The room with Frederik Heyman’s installation literally and figuratively forms the link between the two other rooms.

Essay by Taede A. Smedes

Dutch religious philosopher, theologist and writer Taede A. Smedes wrote an essay to accompany the exhibition. He discusses the relationship between mysticism and digital art, and between the sacred and the human identity. ‘The religious and modern-day digital art of Wondrous Web shows us how the sacred used to be experienced and depicted in the past, and still is today. It is art that confronts us with our day-to-day experience.’

Artists and designers

The exhibition includes works by a. Gilbert Adrian, Zach Blas, Franck Bragigand, James Bridle, Constant Dullaart, Frederik Heyman, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Jodi, JK Keller and Keetra Dean Dixon, Arthur Klep, Barrett Lyon, Rosa Menkman, Simone Niquille, J.E. Pompe, Quayola, Jon Rafman, Stëfan Schäfer and Emily West, Jan Sleper, Egor Tsvetkov, Clement Valla, Petrus Verhoeven and Anne de Vries.