15 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Oddball parties in Ghent, magical festivals in Leuven and artistic debauchery in Brussels. Do the right thing.

Tuesday 21st February – Thursday 9th March: Artefact Festival at STUK, Leuven

In 2017, STUK’s yearly exhibition, lecture and concert cycle Artefact is entirely dedicated to magic, and the meaning of the term in our pragmatic, contemporary society. The festival collects a series of no less than 25 exhibitions and installations- including faux-anthropological sculptures by Dutch Marjolijn Dijkman (1978) and a poetic soap bubble machine by German Verena Friedrich (1981) – curated by STUK’s Karen Verschooren and Ils Huygens from Hasselt’s Z33 art centre. True to tradition, Artefact is accompanied by five evenings of concerts, and finished off by an extensive children’s’ programme and a lecture ambitiously titled ‘The magic of science’. The perfect occasion to head down to Leuven’s cultural epicentre – and to stick around for a while.

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Thursday 23rd February: SIC Presentations at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

International arts workshop SoundImageCulture (SIC), taking place over the next two days at Brussels’ Beursschouwburg, presents the films and installations, all based on artistic-anthropological research, accompanied by a series of lectures, installations and conferences.

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Thursday 23rd February: Brikabrak at Bonnefooi, Brussels

Beatmakers and DJs Faisal, Phasm, Beatsforbeaches, Al Byno, Yooth, Mambele, AliA and KLBR make sure you’re in for night of beats and footwork at downtown Bonnefooi, all in support of the island of Haiti, where hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc late 2016. All profits go to local aid workers, so head over and make a donation.

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Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th February: Illegaal festivaal at BRASS, Brussels

A binge of a party – that’s set to take in the entire weekend at Forest’s cultural centre BRASS – hosted by brewery and artistic collective Illegaal. Based around a group exhibition featuring no less than 14 local artists, three evenings of concerts are held, with highlights Juicy, elbi and samuelspaniel (who’ll be presenting his new EP for the very first time) all taking to the stage. Tickets are going fast, so don’t sleep.

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Thursday 23rd February: Pol Bury, Time in Motion at Bozar, Brussels

Although mostly praised for his oeuvres in public space, La Louvière-born artist Pol Bury (1922- 2005) stood out in nearly any discipline he made his own, whether painting, sculpture, graphic design or writing. One of moving sculpture’s founding fathers, Bury left behind an impressive legacy, a large part of which is on display at Bozar until early June. An exhibition comprising 120 works meant to offer a chronological overview of the artist’s life and body of work, Time in Motion takes visitors along Bury’s Cobra-influenced paintings through metal constructions and slow, unpredictably moving sculptures to jewellery designs and illustrations. Put together by the Brussels museum in collaboration with art consultant Gilles Marquienie, the exhibited works are accompanied by extensive documentation further explaining the work of what used to be one of our country’s most productive artists.

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Thursday 23rd February: Alex Clarke at Super Dakota, Brussels

UK-based artist Alex Clarke presents his second solo exhibition, “This happened to me”, at Super Dakota gallery. Using multiple groups of edited and re-arranged paintings, Clarke aimes to explore the intrinsic idea of making a painting, challenging conventional methods. Runs until 8th April.

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Friday 24th February: Norite label night at Épicerie Moderne, Brussels

Dark throbbing techno all night long at Épicerie Moderne, with Norite members Foreign Material, Miloyko, Lunar Convoy and Parisian Boskøw manning the decks.

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Friday 24th February: Rein Dufait at Sofie Van De Velde, Antwerp

With a practice based around found objects, Belgian artist Rein Dufait aims to break the boundaries between nature and culture. Materials are effortlessly transformed into a new, delicate whole. Halfs om Heals, his first solo exhibition at Antwerp’s Sofie Van De Velde gallery runs until 25th March.

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Friday 24th February: From italo to disco at Bagger, Antwerp

It’s all in the name: Oops Wrong Planet brings italo disco to Bagger for the third time, with Charlie Shake, Dazzle Dave and PJ Snacks manning the decks with vinyl-only sets.

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Friday 24th February: Nosedrip and Asa Moto at Leitmotiv, Ghent

Ghent’s party instigators Mo Disko and Juice Blenders head to the city’s Leitmotiv former film studios, and invite producers Asa Moto and DJ Nosedrip for an night-long oddball shindig. Stick around until the early hours.

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Friday 24th February: Marthe Wéry at BPS22, Charleroi

Comprised of works from the collections of Charleroi’s BPS22 and Hainaut Province, the retrospective exhibition of Belgian painter Marthe Wéry (1930 – 2005) encompasses her early geometrical canvases, her monochrome assemblages as well as scraped paintings and works on paper, aiming to show and introduce the multifaceted artist that was Wéry. With a special focus on previously unseen work, BPS22 presents an extensive overview of Wéry’s 50-year long career. Influenced by the many possibilities offered by non-figurative painting, from Malevich’s suprematism to Mondriaan’s De Stijl and American minimalism, Wéry never ceased her endeavour to find the main essence of a subject by looking solely at its bare minimum.

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Saturday 25th February: Boudin Room, secret location, Brussels

Showing love for two indispensable crafts – cooking and DJing – while turning everyone’s favourite (ahem) livestream events into something with more of a Belgian touch, Boudin Room invites DJs Nobuo and DC Salas to a secret location in Brussels on Saturday for a selected crowd of 40 people. Didn’t request an invite in time? No stress, the entire event is streamed live on Goûte mes Disques.

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Saturday 25th February: Frontal at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

One of our capital’s freshest new hip hop labels Frontal, co-founded by members of rap troupe STIKSTOF, host the last in a series of parties and invite Swiss La Base & Tru Comers and Mikewaulie to share the stage with locals Le 77, Zwangere Guy, DJ Vega and DJ Proceed.

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Saturday 25th February: Champion Sound beat battle at Trix, Antwerp

It’s that time of year again for Champion Sound‘s Beat Battle, in which a selection of Belgium’s finest beatmakers go head-to-head in Antwerp’s Trix venue, their skills then judged by none other than LeftO, Bart Sibiel and Dour Festival’s Mathieu Fonsny.

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