• expo Speaking Chairs - 8>19 sep @ Saint-Jacobs Church

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck

  • De Spreekstoelen - ONBETAALBAAR, CAMPO, Design Museum Gent & 019

    © Richard Duyck


De Spreekstoelen (English: Speaking Chairs) is an investigation into the reallocation of the iconic church or prayer chair that has fallen into disuse. They systematically disappeared from churches, exchanged for more comfortable seats, or discarded in the wake of secularisation. They are stacked metres high in dark cellars, waiting for a second life. As silent witnesses of a rich past.  

In the course of 2022, craftsmen and designers, students, local residents, artists and performers, young and old, known and unknown and with different cultural and religious backgrounds were given carte blanche to recreate a chair into a new object. From dignified restoration to radical transformation. Each church chair was thus given a new identity: a new story, a new function, a new name.  

By uniting different people around the same task, we wanted to create synergy, discussion and recognition of the craft, but also to encourage reflection on faith, reuse and respect for (religious) heritage.   

ONBETAALBAAR presents the transformed chairs during an exhibition in the Saint James' Church, where each one will preach its newly composed story. A hymn to the individual imagination. Amen!  

On the 18th of September, the last day of the exhibition, ONBETAALBAAR will organise the Auction of the Speaking Chairs. This way the transformed chairs not only have a new purpose, but also get a second home. At 2 pm there will be a viewing moment, at 3 pm the auction will start.    


THU 8 up to and including SUN 18 SEP
Vernissage on Thu 8/09
Expo open on Fri, Sat & Sun, every time from 2 pm to 6 pm

In Saint James' Church