15 things to do in Belgium this weekend

B-boy battles in Charleroi, infinite flowers in Antwerp and democratic re-organisation in Ghent.

Thursday 16th March: Pauline Tonglet at Galerie du Beffroi, Namur

Public art space Galerie du Beffroi has granted carte blanche to local Pauline Tonglet, who is showcasing her most recent creations alongside three like-minded artists – Nathalie Boutté, Juan Cañizares and David Delruelle. Tonglet creates constructivist re-imaginations in the artistic realm of collective personal memories, like a breath of fresh air for forgotten stories. Complementarily, Boutté’s patchwork artworks, Cañizares’ reworked photography and Delruelle’s expressive collages all further blur the boundary between reality and fiction. The month-long exhibition already started at the start of March, so make sure to visit before it ends in ten days.

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Thursday 16th March: Blauwdruk at Vooruit, Ghent

2017 is the year that Ghent’s Vooruit celebrates its official recognition as a Flemish regional art institute – and in return, they have opened their doors to the public in hopes of engaging discussions with artists, musicians, students, volunteers, partners critical thinkers and officials. All throughout this week, Vooruit’s team is hosting a series of cutting edge debates, showcases and workshops, with the aim of establishing a vision for what exactly Vooruit is to mean, represent and actualise for its audience. The cherry on top is their party Blwdrk on Friday, with the likes of the phenomenal Inga Copeland, Juju & Jordash, Nosedrip, Baleine 3000 manning the decks. “Rethink (y)our future” and have a say in the construction of Vooruit’s new blueprint (!) prototype.

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Thursday 16th March: The Bauhaus #itsalldesign at ADAM, Brussels

Design maniacs at ADAM have partnered up with the equally dedicated Vitra Design Museum, to present the latter’s exhaustive on-tour exhibition on all things Bauhaus. From architecture, film, art and of course design; the homage to the early 20th Century, pioneering German art school does not skim over any detail, as it covers not only its history but also its current everyday relevance. Though the opening was the night before, the temporary exhibition will be open to the public starting Thursday. A must for any lover of modernist art.

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Thursday 16th March: Xavier Mary at Albert Baronian, Brussels

A heavy-hitting exhibition opening hosted by Brussels’ acclaimed art gallery Albert Baronian: automobile-obsessed Liègeios Xavier Mary will be showcasing Snake Driver in the main gallery space. Night driving through Mexico’s Aztec landscape on Highway 175 inspired the Brussels-based artist in creating grand sculptures. He will be accompanied by a video screening from the young promising videographer Eva L’Hoest, member of Liège’s La Superette collective. An unavoidable kick-start to Mary’s month-long exhibition running till the 15th of April.

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Thursday 16th March: Patrick Carpentier at Albert Baronian, Brussels

Alongside Mary’s Snake Driver opening, Brussels-based Patrick Carpentier’s solo-show For how much longer – referencing Dante’s Inferno and The Cure – will be carried out in the sister gallery space just across the street. Performance artist, experimental film and music video-maker, sculptor, photographer and founder of publishing house Décade Editions – never satisfied sticking to just one platform, the multimedia artist will exhibit his interpretive creations on the manipulation and transformations of (im)mortality, and the awareness of fleeting time. Like Mary, the show will is on display till the 15th of April. Two birds, one stone.

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Thursday 16th March: Nancy Moreno at Island, Brussels

Independent art gallery Island is opening its doors to the public, in light of Nancy Moreno’s solo-show Coalter, which only runs until the 9th of April. A reference to the French idiom “etre dans le coalter” or “to be in the coaltar”, the obscure artist will present her sombre and mysterious, meant to astound and stupefy your senses. Thoughtful and intriguing.

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Thursday 16th March: Triathlon #3 at Café La Pompe, Brussels

All good things come in threes: the crew behind art collective Triathlon have invited three local heavy-duty artists for their third self-titled party, held in the heart of St.-Gilles / St.-Gillis. Expect thumping basslines and sweaty shape-throwing from Nikolaïevitch, Rin and Buga; all artists currently picking up well-deserved hype. Here’s a chance to witness them in action and understand what all the fuss is about for yourself.

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Friday 17th – Sunday 19th March: Independent film screening at Cinema Galeries, Brussels

While patiently waiting for April’s art frenzy to hit the town, Independent art fair already partly lifts the veil on what’s to come. Three consecutive evenings of screenings are taking place at Cinema Galeries, featuring films made by artists participating in the fair. The promising programme includes 15 different screenings, and the ones by New York and Bangkok-based Korakrit Arunanondchai and local Gerard Herman are already high on our list.

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Friday 17th March: Foxie! The Cunning Little Vixen at Palais de La Monnaie, Brussels

Inspired by a strip cartoon on the joys and sorrows of the vixen Bystroushka that appeared in a 1920 newspaper, Belgian artist and artistic director Christophe Coppens – who assumes costume and set design duties – takes on this cheerful and youthful opera in customary dark fashion. Overseen by Italo-French conductor Antonello Manacorda, one of La Monnaie’s discoveries of 2016, this series of nine performances including two matinees for children is not to be missed.

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Saturday 18th March: Birde Vanheerswynghels at Komplot, Brussels

“Romance may be dead, romanticism is not.” Brussels-based fine arts painter Birde Vanheerswynghels is presenting her new line of work entitled Happy Ever After. Till mid-April, Komplot will be curating her drawings – including a large-scale charcoal drawing centrepiece – which depicts her understanding of the somewhat paradoxical relationship between the natural and social. In an increasingly urbanised world, how do we as a society perceive and relate to Mother Nature? Intuitive and re-imagined, Vanheerswynghels’ guest residency is the prime debut to the the joys of spring.

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Saturday 18th March: Hip-Hop A6000 at Eden, Charleroi

In collaboration with Temps Danses Urbaines, Eden is hosting it’s fourth annual hip-hop battle, in search of the finest “urban” dancers around. Besides a no-nonsense yet upbeat championship competition, Eden will also be hosting open workshops and showcasing previous winning dance crews. Plenty of inspiring moments and brimming talent throughout the weekend.

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Saturday 18th March: clubSTUK Maverick at STUK, Leuven

Leuveneurs are spoilt this Saturday, as local DJ and producer Maverick has curated an expansive, strictly Belgian lineup for this month’s clubSTUK party. Expect a wide range of funk, boogie, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz and hip-hop from Foot Juice Records’ DTM Funk, Toolbox, Flake and Youth – all renowned for their infectious dance sets, and all sure to make you move your feet all night.

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Saturday 18th March: 54 Feest at Het Bos, Antwerp

The non-conformist familia behind Brussels’ 54KOLAKTIV are throwing an impressive all-nighter bash at Het Bos, bringing together an eclectic mix of hip-hop, electronica, baita, reggae and acid. In addition to local bigshots like STIKSTOF, FUNGI, Netwerk, Basstet and of course their resident DJs; they’ve also got Portuguese DJ Lilocox taking full advantage of the 54’s almighty sound system. And as if that weren’t enough, all profits will be going to radical non-profit organisation Toestand. Just what we like, a party with a conscience.

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Saturday 18th March: SupAfly Collective at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

The female-driven team behind hip-hop SupAfly Collective are painting the capital city red from Beursschouwburg’s rooftop this Saturday with exclusive local DJ sets. From Sint-Niklaas’ producer UNOS – impressively crowned second in TRIX’s Champion Sound beats battle recently – to R&B queens Juicy, SupAfly have curated a fine list of hip-hop aficionados sure to spin all your favourite old and new tracks. Guaranteed grooves and laughs.

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Sunday 19th March: #infiniteflowersplusone at PLUS-ONE, Antwerp

Berchem-based contemporary art gallery PLUS-ONE will be kicking off their ambitious group show “about the infinite inspiration of flowers”: an exhaustive multimedia collection of artwork and photography all conceptually linked to floral beauty. You can expect a wide assortment of both local and international artists: Léon Wuidar, Stephanie Hier, Fred Bervoets and Keith Haring are just a few names showcased from this opening night. A straightforward and fun concept, very much in line with the current blessed weather.

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Sunday 19th March: Full Moon in Leo at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent

The final curtain is drawn on art gallery Tatjana Pieters’ Full Moon in Leo exhibition; hosting local and international artists John Finneran, Kris Lemsalu and Lisa Vlaemminck. A collection of bright and bold artwork and installations are adorned in this Ghent-based gallery, all commenting on the mystical power of metaphors and symbolism – particularly the theme of threes. Last chance to witness these three grouped together – not to be missed.

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