The weekend in Belgium 29.03

Andres Serrano, Brussels

‘Sacramentum: Sacred Shadows’ at the Nathalie Obadia gallery is a retrospective ensemble of the work of controversial contemporary American artist and photographer Andres Serrano. The artist provokes and shocks with his bold imagery of the religious and the sacred. Reinventing the icons, he draws on paintings from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, whilst picking up themes like patriotism, social problems, sex, death racism and the forbidden along the way. Whilst Serrano’s exhibitions have evoked fierce reactions (his works have been repeatedly vandalised), the artist affirms: “I do believe in God; I also believe in religious art, and in the beauty and power of that art.”

Until 5th May
Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Rue Charles Decosterstraat 8 – 1050 Brussels
www.galerie-obadia.com

Joel Morrison, Brussels

In Seattle-born Joel Morrison’s first solo exhibition in Brussels, minimalism meets Baroque, high meets low. While references to the 18th century neoclassical bust abound, the artist’s playful sculptures are built out of everyday objects like water bottles, waffles, light bulbs, hot dogs and latex gloves, covered with nickel, stainless-steel or bronze. Inspiring comparisons to Jeff Koons and modern sculptors like Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore, Morrison’s work unites contradictions in a visually captivating and theoretically complex way – and always with a dose of humour.

Until 11th April
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 Abdijstraat – 1050 Brussels
www.alminerech.com

American tintypes, Brussels

Tintypes, whose golden age fell somewhere between 1860 and 1890, are photographs made on a sheet of iron metal (the principle being that a collodion negative appeares as a positive image when viewed against a dark surface). As this (affordable) process made it possible for photographers to have the final result ready for customers within a few minutes, it quickly became enormously popular, especially in the United States. This one-off exhibition features an exceptional ensemble of 150 images collected over the past five years, offering a glimpse into the past: from the opening of the Far West, the abolition of slavery, segregation and industrialisation until the decline of tintype photographs, beginning with the appearance of the first Kodak camera in 1888.

Until 14th April
Box Gallery, Rue du Mail 88 Maliestraat – 1050 Brussels
www.boxgalerie.be

Charley Case, Brussels

Living and working in Brussels, Belgian multimedia artist Charley Case is especially known for his ink drawings, his preferred technique, though he works with a variety of media, from photography and sculpture to film and video. The Basement Series, a newly launched project by the Argos centre of arts and media and Les Galeries, invites artists to showcase their work in the recently renovated exhibition space of Les Galeries. Case kicks off the series with W.E. (west : east) , a project that combines the artist’s sense of nature and the rhythm of the city as well as dealing with unexpected encounters and emotions.

Until 1st April
Galeries, Galerie de la Reine 28 Koninginnegalerij - 1000 Brussels
www.galeries.be

Orange album release party, Brussels

Our next edition hits the streets this Friday, 30th March and we’ll be celebrating it with a release party in the heart of Brussels. The venue? Newly opened Studio Stiletto, the mesmerising artist space of Jean-Pierre BertrandPaul ChazalSophie Graniou and Project Digilence’s Emilie Pischedda and Valentin Souquet, who are also the creative minds behind the party’s scenography. On the decks are upcoming Brussels-based band Dalai Lama Renaissance (whom you’ll find out more about in our orange album). And do come early: the first 150 guests will receive one of our new limited edition Word bags. Swishwooo.

30th March
Studio Stiletto, Rue du Houblon 63 Hopstraat – 1000 Brussels
More info on the event’s Facebook page

Catclub, Brussels

The month of March is about to end on a high note with one hell of a party this Saturday night. Catclub, Brussels’ ever-so on-point organiser of the city’s tastiest club nights, has managed to pull off quite a stunner this time, having been chosen as the Belgian stop for legendary Frankfurter club Robert Johnson‘s 17-date European tour. With Belgian duo Kong & Gratts warming up the dance floor and Robert Johnson resident DJs Oliver Hafenbauer and Gerd Janson handling the decks from then on, there’s no other place you’d rather be come Saturday. Trust us.

31st March
Wild gallery, Rue du Charroi 11 Gerijstraat - 1190 Brussels
www.catclub.be

Lara Gasparotto, Antwerp

Lara Gasparotto is a rising star on Belgium’s photography horizon. Living and working in Anthisnes, this 22 year old youngster, a recent graduate of ESA Saint-Luc in Liège, will be presenting her very first solo show as part of Liège’s International Photography Biennale. And what’s more: this month Gasparotto will also be publishing her first monograph at Yellow Now. Interweaving different codes, genres and techniques, her raw and colourful photos, with an often punky and anarchic touch, are a kind of captivating poetry that always thirst for liberty.

Until 22nd April
Stieglitz 19, Klapdorp 2 – 2000 Antwerp
www.stieglitz19.be

Reasons for walling a house, Antwerp

This unusual exhibition unravels the unlikely transformation of a small single family house by Belgian architecture firm 51N4E. When Julie Vandenbroucke and Michel Espeel commissioned the project in 2003, they made clear they wanted to continue living at the site during the works. The architects decided to enclose the house with a three meter high steel wall, and, in the process, made the owners rethink their ideas of the home. They were inspired to invite artists from all genres and offer them a place to stay, a full fridge and a carte blanche to create something with the house. Over the span of 18 months, 7 guests were welcomed, including Belgian photographer Dirk Braeckman, Spanish artist Enrique Marty or Italian architect and designer Andrea Branzi. This exhibition shows this bizarre transformation through their eyes.

Until 6th May
Valerie Traan, Reyndersstraat 12 – 2000 Antwerp
www.valerietraan.be

Helmet, Antwerp

Helmet’s album ‘Meantime’, released in 1992, brought the band quite a bit of success, selling over two million copies and achieving gold status, thanks in part to the album’s legendary single ‘Unsung’. Now, on the occasion of the record’s 20th anniversary, widely considered a milestone in (heavy) rock music and post-metal,  the alternative metal band from New York embarks once more on a European tour to celebrate, with something old, something new…

29th March
Trix, Noordersingel 28-30 – 2140 Borgerhout, Antwerp
www.trixonline.be

Ford Madox Brown, Ghent

In what will be the first comprehensive exhibition of his work for over forty years, the museum presents a comprehensive overview of British artist Ford Madox Brown’s oeuvre, a major representative of the pre-raphaelites. Combining intense realism with originality of vision in depicting vivid modern-life subjects, he created a new style that was both rough and powerful. He also showed a social and political engagement in his art, unusual at the time, and was one of the first artists to paint serious contemporary subjects. Madox, who studied at the Fine Art Academies of Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, was always ahead of his time, unafraid to challenge traditional ideas. This exhibition showcases some of his most important works, including the famous Shakespeare-inspired King Lear series.

Until 3rd June
Museum of Fine Arts, Fernand Scribedreef 1, Citadelpark - 9000 Ghent
www.mskgent.be