20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Shadiest reads in Ghent, birthday celebrations in Liège and Antwerp Art Weekend. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th May: Antwerp Art Weekend

Hellenism, dance and cosmopolites: oozing with creative juices, Antwerp Art Weekend is back for their fourth edition, and better than ever. Amongst a whopping gathering of over 60 art galleries and spaces, some noteworthy events include The Word’s very own in-house photographer Miles Fischler and the screening of her short film Greece, land of theatre for guaranteed architectural decadence at Valerie Traan Gallery. Next up is Kasper De Vos‘ sculptural wonderland The Dance for Mobile Reception taking verticality to totemic proportions. Not to be missed is Base-Alpha‘s contribution courtesy of Geoffrey de Beer’s Cosmopolite from the countryside featuring a quasi-scientific approach to urban landscapes under the guise of vibrant colour. Crucially, Hannelore Van Dijck‘s unveiling alongside Koba De Meutter at DMW Art Space is hotly anticipated. Finally, don’t leave without experiencing Antwerp-local Sine Van Menxel’s Two Left Hands tapping into the wonders of asymmetry and keeping the audience on their toes. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 24th May: Oswald Moris presents Katrevin at Café AperO, Leuven

Brussels-based, Leuven-born music obsessive and one-half of selector duo Brokers, Oswald Moris is known for his eclectic taste. His latest endeavour Katrevin combines his love of disco, boogie and funk for a one-stop shop of delights for your ear drums. Dust off your dancing shoes.

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Thursday 24th May – Sunday 17th June: Julie Van Der Vaart and Debby Thijs at 44 Gallery, Brugge

44 Gallery‘s fresh approach to contemporary talent is refreshing, and their newest exhibition is no exception: Dutch award-winning artist Julie Van Der Vaart’s surreal creations blurr the lines of bodily autonomy with an almost intergalactic feel. Not to mention, Debby Thijs’ eerie and contemplative shots that radiate the complexity of the human experience. You have to see it to believe it.

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Friday 25th May – Saturday 30th June: Ross Bleckner’s Time of disquiet at Maruani Mercier, Brussels

Crossing the pond, New York native Ross Bleckner’s symbolic creations are a reminder of how far modern medicine has come. His delicate floral scenes represent the fragility of humanity and the temporality we all face. Existential dread free with entry.

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Friday 25th – Saturday 26th May: Focus on NON in Ghent

Transatlantic black diasporic record label-cum-collective NON is all about using the power of sound to create contemporary sounds that challenge the status quo. Ghent sets the scene with a double-bill weekend, including collective co-founder and current Vooruit resident Nkisi’s addictive up-tempo beats and avant-garde innovator Elysia Crampton at Gouvernement. Treat yourself.

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Friday 25th May – Saturday 23rd June: Street Expo Photo at 1010, Brussels

Photography lovers rejoice: 10 youngblooded photographers unite for an all-consuming exhibition in and around Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis. From well-seasoned shutterbug Marie Sordat’s signature dark realism and Sarah Lowie‘s heart-wrenching insider shots to Brussels-born Simon Vansteenwinckel’s powerful portraits. There’s something for everyone – spoilt rotten.

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Friday 25th May: Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta at BOZAR, Brussels

To celebrate world Africa Day, BOZAR is showing award-winning documentary Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta. Director Ousmane William Mbaye and Panafricanist historian Amzat Boukari-Yabara are part of an exciting panel for the following debate. Alongside the screening will be an open-panel debate on the Senegalese scientist’s quest for knowledge and the fight to re-assert Africa’s central importance in our collective history. Education is key.

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Friday 25th May: Park Festival Showcase at Bar Helder, Antwerp

Showcasing the latest beatmakers, Park Festival has selected a five-star line-up once again. Ranging from British titan Illum Sphere’s tease worthy electronica to The Word Radio regular DTM Funk‘s footwork inducing set. A-town show some love.

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Friday 25th May: Ben Bertrand’s Release Show at Forest Park Kiosk, Brussels

The claustrum’s enclosed concert space is not only tantalising for the ears, but was built up using recycled materials. The accoustics are out-of-this-world – perfect for Ben Bertrand’s much anticipated composition release. Advanced electronic techniques and environmentalism unite for this special Les Ateliers Claus and Parcours d’Artistes St-Gilles & Vorst.

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Saturday 26th May: Private Choices finissage at Centrale, Brussels

Your last chance to experience Centrale‘s long-running exhibition Private Choices: combining their passion for art collectors and visionaries alike, the result is a revealing insight into the emerging cultural scene. Variety flowing from controversial visual artist Damien Hirst’s twist on morality to Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s beautiful simplicity – and with our very own Aidons Antoine handling the sonic duties too. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 26th May – Saturday 7th July: Mix and Match at La Peau de l’Ours, Brussels

An increasingly common approach in the world of fashion, and now in contemporary art as well. Never afraid of taking risks, La Peau de L’Ours is have put together an ambitious group exhibition, questioning what belongs together, and what doesn’t. An eye-opening opportunity.

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Saturday 26th May: Red Brut LP Launch at de Koer, Ghent

For the event of her self-titled LP debut, Red Brut is celebrating at Ghent’s de Koer. Standing for avant-garde tape music, Red Brut will be accompanied by special guest duo Crys Cole and Oren Ambachi for their out-of-this-world electronica. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 26th May: I H8 Camera at Archipel, Brussels

I H8 Camera keeps things simple, yet perfectly timed. An all-star Belgian band like you’ve never seen it:  Jezus Factory‘s Rudy Trouvé, Stef K Carlens, Teuk Henri, Frank Pary and Elko B. For a gentle start to your Saturday night.

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Saturday 26th May – Saturday 2nd June: DAWENTI 大問題 Pop-Up Store Opening at Hypercorps, Brussels

With the opening of their so-called pop-up store this Saturday, in collaboration with the architect Matthieu Darcourt, multidisciplinary and resident artists Lisa Egio and Elliot Kervyn are taking their residency to a whole new level. The brand new gallery space is for one week going back to its roots by turning into their original form: a streetwear store. More than just window-shopping.

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Saturday 26th – Sunday 27th May: Garden Tales Weekend #3 at CIVA, Brussels

For the third time round, CIVA’s Garden Tales Weekend is taking you on an adventure to and through Brussels’ hidden gems, this time focussing on contemporary urban gardening. Check out their varied programme and make a journey “into the wild”.

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Saturday 26th May: Beeldende Kunst 5 years Ekster at De Studio, Antwerp

So much celebration in one night: as part of Antwerp Art Weekend, noctural duties are more than covered with the third Night of the Visual Arts. A combination of tributes paid to both musical performances and exhibitions, it’s everything your heart can desire. And as if that weren’t enough, a whole roster of The Word regulars are handling the decks: Vlek and Bepotel‘s Sagat, JJ Funhouse‘s Milan W., STROOM‘s Nosedrip and of course, Ekster‘s Hiele celebrating its 5th anniversary. Hold my beer.

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Saturday 26th May: Actionnaires #25 at LaVallée, Brussels

LaVallée, the address for some open-air fun is once again hosting a night dedicated to all things electronic with a number of live guests. Harmonious Thelonious, Compadre, Bear Bones, Lay Low, Bodycocktail and David Chazam are all brought together there to celebrate a – hopefully – warm summer night. And of course with the obligatory food truck. Treat yourselves.

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Saturday 26th May: I Am Divine at DOKkantine, Ghent

This Saturday, Bebe Books is putting together an inspiring evening including a big two-fingers towards fixed gender identity, sexuality, and standardised beauty. A chance to discover Jeffrey Schwartz’s challenging 2013 documentary I Am Divine, following iconic and global international drag superstar Harris Glenn Milstead’s life. And, not to be missed, a liveperformance of Gabrielle Duchesse, Antwerp’s very own nightlife queen. Go show some love.

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Saturday 26th May: Fett Burger, Lawrence Le Doux at C12, Brussels

Deep in House is back with another all-nighter at C12, this time inviting the likes of DJ Fett Burger and office favourite Lawrence Le Doux for sure shot bangers. We’ll see you there.

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Saturday 26th May: LDC Night – The 13 at KulturA., Liège

For better or worse, family are your ride-or-die’s: Lait de Coco are rightfully celebrating their one year anniversary based in KulturA., and are inviting a roster full of day ones. And of course, so are you. No presents, just presence.

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