Hyde Park (The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 1851)

The Future of Yesterday is a photographic series about the architectural remnants of world exhibitions, often revealing an ironic contrast between the grand utopian views of times past and the urban reality of today

Duratrans on acrylic, lightbox

100 x 125 cm

Edition of 1 + 1 AP



‘The Great Exhibition’ is Ives Maes’ first major solo exhibition. The artist sketches a controversial portrait of an era based on a series of photos of the locations and remains of previous World Exhibitions. The World’s Fair has always been an example of optimism, of a belief in progress through technology and science to make the world a better place. This new series of photos forms the basis of the exhibition in Z33. Ives Maes travelled throughout Europe taking pictures near existing world exhibition sites with the aid of models and props. From the first world exhibition of 1851 in London, ‘The Great Exhibition of All Nations’ to the exhibition of 2008 in Zaragosa, Spain. This exhibition takes place in Wing ’58, a former pavilion of the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958. For that reason Ives Maes uses the building in his exhibition as a sculpture. Some parts of the building are reproduced in other parts of the building and used as film projection screens. As a third component to the exhibition, Ives Maes made a selection of works from the FRAC collections such as Absalon, Luciano Fabro, Dora Garcia, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham and Ettore Sottsass.


In THE FUTURE OF YESTERDAY the Belgian artist Ives Maes searched the globe looking for evidence of World’s Fairs. He photographed the architectural remnants of these short-lived events and the sites on which they were built, often revealing an ironic contrast between the grand utopian views of times past and the urban reality of today. His eerie photographs are afterimages, lingering vestiges of now fading dreams.


The Great Exhibition

Z33 Art Center, Hasselt, Belgium

26/10/08 – 04/01/09

Curated by Jan Boelen

Solo exhibition


Die Stadt von Morgen

Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

15/01/09 – 01/02/09

Solo exhibition


Images Recalled – Bilder auf abruf

3rd Photofestival Kunsthalle Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg, Germany

5/09/09 – 25/10/09

Luchezar Boyadjiev, Candice Breitz, Olaf Breuning, Paolo Chiasera, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Lenka Clayton, Marjolijn Dijkman, Harm van den Dorpel, Elmgreen & Dragset, Amel Emric, Leo Fabrizio, Cyprien Gaillard, Pablo Hare, Joel Holmberg, William Hundley, Iman Issa, Mandy Lee Jandrell, Jan Kempenaers, Miguel Luciano, Ives Maes, Kelly Mark, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Lauris Paulus, Sarah Pickering, Pascual Sisto, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Guy Tillim, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Rijel Violet, Qingsong Wang