20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Poetic performances in Brussels, experimental electronica in Antwerp and organ wunderkind André Brasseur in Namur.

1. Wednesday 26th October: Picasso: sculptures at Bozar, Brussels

After a comprehensive exhibition of Picasso’s sculptures at New York’s MoMa museum, Brussels’ Bozar builds further on the same theme, collaborating with Paris’ Musée Picasso for this highly personal exhibition shedding light on the iconic painter’s life and work through sculptures, drawings, ceramics and photographs taken from the artist’s private collection. Runs until 5th March.

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2. Thursday 27th October: Tim Onderbeke at Island, Brussels

Ghent-based artist Tim Onderbeke‘s artistic practice includes photography, video, sculpture and paintings, and is heavily inspired by the negative space – that is to say the space between two objects. His solo exhibition at Brussels-based gallery Island opens this Thursday and is bound to be an ambiguously mystical experience, suitably titled ‘Oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit’, which translates as ‘The eye did not see, nor did the ear hear’. Runs until 20th November.

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3. Thursday 27th October: Saul Leiter exhibition opening at FoMu, Antwerp

One of colour photography’s pioneers, US-born Saul Leiter (1923 – 2013) adopted the medium in its early years, at a time when it was still considered a banal vulgarity by photography buffs. Inspired by New York’s streets, Leiter’s photographic compositions often depict mirrors and windows, in a way to tease the spectator’s eye and keep him on his toes, as well as street scenes, road signs, passers-by, formal portraits and architectural landscapes. Dissolving the urban environment, his work conjures a kind of mystery that’s at times reminiscent of Rothko paintings. Criminally ignored by the art world for decades, Leiter’s artistic heritage and influence is now universally accepted. As such, Antwerp’s photography museum shows a comprehensive retrospective of his work, which includes, next to his photographs, sculptures, paintings and publications. Runs until 29th January.

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Saul Leiter: Untitled, 1950er (Selbstporträt) © Saul Leiter, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York. Aus der Ausstellung "Saul Leiter-Retrospektive", Deichtorhallen Hamburg 3.2.-15.4.2012.

4. Thursday 27th – Monday 31st October: Beautés Soniques festival at Namur

The fourth edition of Namur’s finest festival Beautés Soniques takes in the entire city all weekend long. The diverse line-up is spread out over ten locations and features some impressive acts such as local hero André Brasseur, psychedelic pop duo Robbing Millions, rapper Convok and screamo five-piece Mont-Doré.

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5. Friday 28th October: Peas and Parrots at Swallowing Helmets, Brussels

Molenbeek non-profit art space Swallowing Helmet’s inaugural exhibition showcases a large group of local artists, amongst which Lola Daels, Jadran Sturm & Åsa Lie,Steven Bertels, Maarten Raskin and Delphine Somers. Head over, we hear there’ll even be a DIY sauna outside.

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6. Friday 28th October: Orpheu at Épicerie Moderne, Brussels

A night of dark electronica with local enfant terrible Maoupa Mazzochetti, Italian oddball electro producer Black Seed, and Orpheu resident Chalk Line at downtown dig Épicerie Moderne.

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7. Friday 28th October: Marc Buchy – Space Out at Moonens Foundation, Brussels

For his solo show at Moonens Foundation, Brussels-based emerging artist Marc Buchy approached the space as a diptych – using the project space for his sculptural work while juxtaposing it with his typographic creations. Runs until 10th December, visits by appointment only.

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8. Friday 28th October: Pierre Bastien and Stahlquartett at Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels

Next to composing music, French-born Pierre Bastien also invents his own mechanical-based instruments, creating a sort of machine-like sound. He’ll be performing at Les Ateliers Claus this Friday, alongside German four-piece Stahlquartett and their boundary-breaking modular jazz.

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9. Friday 28th October: Evol at Kaaitheater, Brussels

Kaaitheater’s upcoming dance performance Evol, or ‘love’ spelled backwards, is a poetic choreography conceived by Claire Croizé, inspired by Rilke’s Duino Elegies and based on Bowie’s early work. A lyrical, surreal and evocative production.

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10. Friday 28th – Sunday 30th October: Brussels street photography festival at Ravenstein Gallery, Brussels

A weekend-long celebration and exploration of street photography in all its forms, through lectures, debates, two exhibitions and photo walks in the Galerie Ravenstein.

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11. Friday 28th October: Bitter at Trix, Antwerp

Five Belgian experimental electronic music live acts, with SKY H1, Hiele, Weval, Avondlicht and The Field, at Antwerp concert venue Trix. Full support.

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12. Friday 28th October: Prutswerk at Minus One, Ghent

Prolific hip hop producer Freddy Bracker engages in a discussion with sounddesigner Hester Bolle. The duo will afterwards produce a live jam, followed by a series of DJ sets, organised by Prutswerk, a Ghent-based concept aimed at promoting interaction between producers and other creatives.

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13. Saturday 29th October: Allée du Kaai dag, Brussels

All-day concerts, tables d’hôtes, cinébus film screenings, free flea markets and workshop at Allée du Kaai, non-profit Toestand’s refurbished warehouses just next to Brussels’ canal. Essential neighbourhood family fun by one of Brussels’ most forward-thinking associations.

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14. Saturday 29th October: Bxl mon Amourrr at Brussels Kart Expo

The first edition of Bxl mon Amourrr presents ten hours of deep house, techno and house in a warehouse bordering Brussels, with a line-up featuring Max Cooper, Carl Craig, Amélie Lens and Cleveland.

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15. Saturday 29th October: Catclub at Volta building, Brussels

Catclub opens the new season with an all-nighter at Ixelles’ Volta manor, together with Mexican Comeme-signed Daniel Maloso, Berlin-based DJ Massimiliano Pagliara and Catclub regulars Kong and Fais le beau.

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16. Saturday 29th October: Mathias Pontevia at Barlok, Brussels

An improvised drum solo by French Mathias Pontevia, cyber-math grindcore by Italian Germanotta Youth, one-woman band Chicaloyoh and Chinese exile exo¬terrism at Barlok.

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17. Saturday 29th October: Rotkat records fair at Plein Publiek, Antwerp

Rotkat record fair’s autumn edition goes a little more mainstream this time, with a true flea-market like feel at seasonal bar Plein Publiek.

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18. Saturday 29th October: 36 years Radio Centraal at Het Bos, Antwerp

Antwerp’s favourite underground radio station Radio Centraal is blowing out 36 candles and celebrates with a night of concerts and dj sets at the city’s Bosbar. With a line-up featuring Milan W., Dennis Tyfus, Stone Apple Jam (and more), this one’s not to be missed.

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19. Saturday 29th October: Chineurs de Belgique at Caprice d’ambiance, Namur

André Brasseur’s Beautés Soniques afterparty brings together the city’s electronic scene through Namur-based label Unknown References and local party concept Chineurs de Belgique. With DJ sets by Beato Minacelli, A2, SKR and DJ soFa.

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20. Saturday 29th October: Sects Tape and Bayacomputer at La Parapluie National, Binche

At local venue La Parapluie National, this Saturday, Tournai-based neo-garage outfit Sects Tape and post-apocalyptic synth ensemble Bayacomputer take to the stage. Maybe the best reason yet to head over to the Walloon town of Binche (save for its famous carnaval celebration of course).

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BONUS: Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th October: Livresse Clôture at La Manufacture Urbaine, Charleroi

The 18th edition of Charleroi’s yearly literary festival closes with a bang at La Manufacture Urbaine, the city’s newest cultural venue that’s set to open early 2017. A collaboration between Le Vecteur – who invited Colombey and Seal of Quality to take to the stage -, Asphalte and Balaise productions – who will end the evening with a series of DJ sets.

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