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Mike Bourscheid

A Spell in the Alphabet Soup


01/09/2023 –
– 29/10
The facade of two stained glass houses that artist Mike Bourscheid made. One on the left resembles a female with blonde hair and red lips, the one on the right is green and wears a sorcerer's hat.

A Spell in the Alphabet Soup marks Mike Bourscheid’s first exhibition in the Netherlands. The starting point of the work is the family home and its complexities. In the work, Mike uses carefully handcrafted costumes, props and prosthetics that allow him to constantly transform his own identity.

In his featured film Agnès for example, Mike’s nose turns from red to blue to yellow and green, as a silent expression of an ever-changing character. In the film, other body parts like hands and feet also possess their own personality. They chat with each other, share their dreams and fears, they help each other and fight like siblings do. They form a community of individuals. The characters in the film are inspired by the artist’s mother, who raised her child as a single parent.

Mike’s work blurs the lines between object and subject, revealing the personalities within everyday items. In the installation at 1646, for instance, a group of stained glass houses grow herbs inside of them. Each individual character nurtures and protects their herb, each with their own medicinal qualities. Mike’s work gives a stage to various personae, blending family anecdotes, fictional narratives, domestic activities, and ideas on masculinity.

From clown to cowboy, and from talking hands to caring glass houses, the artist celebrates a child’s rich imagination and ways of storytelling that often become restricted by rationality later in life. Through his art, Bourscheid playfully examines and challenges traditional family roles, relationships and patriarchal power structures, ultimately questioning societal norms and conventions.

1646 wants to make sure that our visitors have an enjoyable and risk-free experience. Therefore, it’s important to note that peanuts are present in the backroom of our building, located at number 125. However, the front room at number 125 and our entire brand-new building at 127 are safe environments for visitors with nut allergies.

You’re welcome to visit A Spell in the Alphabet Soup on:
Thursday: 13:00 – 21:00
Friday: 13:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 13:00 – 18:00
Sunday: 13:00 – 18:00



Using various forms of art, Mike Bourscheid tells stories that often have a funny or absurdist twist. With the help of strange and clumsy costumes and props, Mike channels different personalities. With a constantly changing identity, the artist addresses aspects of masculinity, patriarchal power and arrogance while investigating the codes and behaviours of our society and tackling social conventions.

Mike Bourscheid represented Luxembourg at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. His recent exhibitions include Richmond Art Gallery (Canada), LIAR NYC (USA) and Heidelberger Kunstverein (Germany). Mike currently has a solo exhibition at Centre national de l’audiovisuel (Luxembourg) as well as upcoming exhibitions at 1646 and Gr_nd (Berlin). Mike Bourscheid is based in Luxembourg and Vancouver.

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