25 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Curated hip hop nights in Brussels, exhibition openings in Antwerp and publishing parties in Ghent.

1. Wednesday 12th – Thursday 13th October: Ed Ruscha – Sixteen books at The Embassy, Brussels

Former consulate turned gallery The Embassy, founded by collector Ronald Rosenbaum, hosts its second exhibition featuring a selection of sixteen small print works, produced between 1963 and 1978, by legendary Californian artist Ed Ruscha. Running for two days only, the exhibition is not to be missed,

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2. Wednesday 12th October: Neochronofobiq at Het STUK, Leuven

A moving image exhibition by Turkish visual artist Emre Hüner, in which he presents his elaborate 3-channel video work Neochronofobiq – a word that can be translated as new and ubiquitous fear of time – alongside a series of sculptures and drawings that served as studies for the installation. Runs until 11th December.

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3. Thursday 13th October: Opening Emily May Smith – Tesla Girls at Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels

Rodolphe Janssen Gallery inaugurates Brooklyn-based artist Emily May Smith’s solo show, who will display a series of dystopian paintings that aim to visualise feminist theories in a futuristic, almost sci-fi setting. Runs until 12th November.

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4. Thursday 13th October: Bear Bones Lay Low instore concert at Balades Sonores, Brussels

Signed on the ever-excellent record imprint KRAAK, Bear Bones Lay Low’s sound takes in a raft of influences – from krautrock and drone to psychedelic and techno – to create an entirely new musical narrative. And, to mark the opening of brand new record store Balades Sonores – just across the street from concert venue Botanique – the Venezuelan-born, Brussels-based artist will be giving an in-store performance. You’re best bet yet to see one of the city’s rising underground stars.

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5. Thursday 13th October: Opening “The Power and the Glory” at Charles Riva, Brussels

A group exhibition tackling current issues surrounding the upcoming US elections, “The Power and the Glory” examines the artist’s role in relation to today’s political climate with works by American artists Paul McCarthy, Sherrie Levine, Josh Smith, David Ostrowski, Roe Ethridge, John Giorno, Andy Hope 1930, Jonathan Horowitz, Hervé Ic, Mike Kelley, John Miller, Jonathan Meese, Richard Prince, Reena Spaulings, Harry Benson and Nathan Hylden. Runs until 18th February 2017, whether Donald or Hilary win.

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6. Thursday 13th October: Ella de Burca at Coudenberg Palace, Brussels

Irish-born and Brussels-based artist Ella de Burca, currently at HISK, takes over Brussels’ Coudenberg Palace for a night with an enormous installation for this season’s nocturnes.


7. Thursday 13th October: VK & FrancoFaune present Roméo Elvis carte blanche at VK, Brussels

Molenbeek concert venue VK and French-spoken music festival FrancoFaune gave Brussels rapper-on-the-rise Roméo Elvis free reigns to curate an entire evening to his liking, rounding off what was an incredibly busy summer for the beloved local hero. With French trapstar Lomepal and Swiss provocateur Makala already announced, the night promises to be high in emotions. Full support.

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8. Thursday 13th October: Amina Saadi – Mein Bruder Karin – Nasa at RIOT, Ghent

At independent art book publisher Art Paper Editions’ bookstore RIOT, Word-contributor Amina Saadi presents her photography series ‘Versailles 2’, which includes images taken over the course of two years in a social housing neighbourhood in Brussels suburb Neder-Over-Heembeek, alongside the launch of  ‘NASA Graphics Standards Manual’, and A.P.E.’s record release of Brussels-Dusseldorf electronic duo ‘Mein Bruder Karin’. Your chance to see the work of a budding talent that all too often falls beneath the radar.

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9. Thursday 13th – Tuesday 18th October: Ghent Film Festival

The 43rd edition of Ghent’s historical film festival, which, in traditional fashion, includes a multitude of national and international film screenings, award shows and concerts. Cannes by the Lys river, 7 days long, with an extensive line-up of Belgian movies.

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10. Thursday 13th October: Take care, amigo at Tim Van Laere, Antwerp

Take care, amigo is an expression the gallery and its artists always use to sign off at the end of their email exchanges, and it now forms the basis for Tim Van Laere’s latest group show which includes the works of artists Rinus Van De Velde, Ben Sledsens, Otto Dix, Armen Eloyan, Adrian Ghenie, A.R. Penck and Peter Rogiers. Focused on paintings, sculptures and drawings, the show is the perfect occasion to get acquainted with the famed Antwerp gallery’s artists in one go.


11. Thursday 13th October: Opening ‘Van Broodthaers tot Braeckman’ at Muhka, Antwerp

A comprehensive retrospective view of contemporary Belgian photography with works by Dirk Braeckman, Marcel Broodthaers, Jacques Charlier, Lili Dujourie, Jef Geys, Jacques Lennep, Jacques Lizène, Danny Matthys, Jacques Louis Nyst, Ria Pacquée, Philippe Van Snick, Jan Vercruysse and Liliane Vertessen. Runs until 5th February 2017, this is one visual arts fans won’t want to miss.

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12. Thursday 13th October: Artist talk John Stezaker at Sofie Van De Velde, Antwerp

British artist John Stezaker creates collages with clippings of scenes taken from classical movies that become their own white screen heroes. His solo exhibition at Sofie Van De Velde opens this Thursday, an event for which the artist will also be giving a talk.

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13. Thursday 13th October: Opening Michèle Matyn at Muhka, Antwerp

The multidisciplinary practice of Antwerp-based artist Michèle Matyn (1978) brings together sculpture, photography, installations and performances that aim to explore old folkloric traditions of societies in relation to nature. Her solo exhibition at Muhka, titled ‘Ademgaten’ (Breathing holes), takes visitors along her travels through France, North-Ossetia and China through works and objects reminiscent of respiratory systems and performances that reflect on mankind’s relationship to nature. Runs until 5th February 2017.

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14. Thursday 13th October: Asphalte #2 at Eden, Charleroi

During Charleroi’s street art biennale Asphalte, whose ambitious and unfailingly on-point program of exhibitions, events, parties and conferences runs through to January 2017, artist François Martig presents ‘Varosha’, a film accompanied by a sound performance about the decline of the Cypriot city. This Thursday at cultural venue Eden.

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15. Friday 14th – Sunday 16th October: Brussels Electronic Marathon

An all-encompassing, crowdfunded electronic music promenade, hosted by Brussels collective FTRSND. Expect festivities, parties, brunches, talks and film screenings in a myriad of venues, from Molenbeek’s MIMA Museum to Ixelles’ Flagey cultural center. Check their Facebook for full line-up and schedules.

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16. Friday 14th October: Won’t you come and spoon with me at Damien and the Love Guru, Brussels

Damien and the Love Guru, the self-defined curatorial experimentation project in St-Gilles, opens their autumn group show ‘Won’t you come and spoon with me’, displaying melancholic yet antiutopian work by Michael Debatty, Gaillard & Claude and Leo Gabin, alongside a musical performance by Antwerp duo Coco Haram, whose heartbreaking first album is set to release on Brussels tape-only imprint Unknown References later this month.

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17. Friday 14th October: Plug & Play Géline Cillain at The Hope, Brussels

Rooms full of laughter, smiles and strictly good family vibes at Brussels’ favourite art hangout The Hope, who’ll be hosting a night with Géline Cillain on deck duty. Drop by for a bite and a boogie.

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18. Friday 14th October: Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict at Bozar Cinema, Brussels

Bozar cinema presents, together with Jeunesses Arts et Plastique, a screening of Art Addict, the autobiographical and intimate portrait of iconic American art collector Peggy Guggenheim which documents the socialite’s eccentric life and outsize role and influence in today’s contemporary art world. Showing at 20h, the movie is essential viewing for any self-resepcting art world gossip king or queen.

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19. Friday 14th October: Lacraps and Mani Deïz at Recyclart, Brussels

Swiss rapper Lacraps teamed up with local beatmaker Mani Deïz for the production of his third album ’42 grammes’, which they’ll both be presenting at Recyclart this Friday, with Lille-based collective La Chronik and local V.I.K. and 100 crew on support.

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20. Friday 14th October: Opening Chloë Delanghe – Minnebrieven 2016 at WIELS, Brussels

Emerging Belgian photographer Chloë Delanghe, an alumni of WIELS’ residency project, presents a new series of photographic work that include portraits that read like love letters – intrinsically intimate yet simultaneously dissociate – for a one-night only exhibition. A must-see.

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21. Friday 14th October: Opening Verhaeren Verbeeld at MSK, Ghent

A journey through Belgian fin-de-siècle art through the eyes of writer-critic Emile Verhaeren, who played a pivotal role in art development of the early 20th century. More than 200 artworks from his personal collection will be on display to provide as rounded a view as possible of our national heritage. Runs until 15th January 2017.

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22. Friday 14th October: Stofwolk_Plek II at Plek, Ghent

Three local young artists – Bert Villa, Juul Verschraegen and Linus Bonduelle – took a week’s time to form their own interpretation of the sentence “What’s in the cellar?”. This Friday, during an evening-only exhibition, the result of their reflections will be presented at art space Plek.

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23. Saturday 15th October: Antwerp Academy Art Book Fair at Royal Academy of Antwerp

The third international book fair hosted by Antwerp’s Royal Academy has as many as 70 antiquarians and independent publishers’ bookstands, offering second-hand as well as contemporary art books. Time to replenish those shelves with books that actually matter.

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24. Sunday 16th October: CAS Brussels presents Ziggy Stardust with producer Ken Scott at Le Cercle des Voyageurs, Brussels

This month’s edition of Classic Album Sundays invites Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” producer Ken Scott, who will engage in a conversation with music journalist Ben Van Alboom, recently anointed Chief Cultural Editor at De Morgen, followed by a full vinyl playback of the iconic album and a Q&A session about the legendary moment in musical history.

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25. Sunday 16th October: Sunday Salon #1 at Besme, Brussels

The first in a series of Sunday Matinees at Forest’s premier project space Besme 105, with a performance by Jean-Philippe Convert and a presentation of a new limited edition print work.

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