20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Love for azure in Ostend, dinner-and-show in Antwerp and Swedish grand sculptures in Ghent. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 21st June – Saturday 30th June: Mano Penalva’s ReQuebra at 11 Rue de Barchonstraat, Brussels

In Portuguese, ReQuebra refers to a wave’s breaking point. For his first solo show in Brussels, Brazilian artist Mano Penalva will explore this state of disorder and raise questions about Brazil’s current economic, social and political crisis. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 21st June – Sunday 8th July: Gregor Eldarb’s Noon Forever at WIELS, Brussels

Drawing its inspiration from the documentary Nowsreal, Eldarb’s installation features pamphlets by the Communication Company which he subjected to some painterly interventions as well as large-format drawings and paintings that were created while he was working on the video. Get a glimpse of this hard-to-find masterpiece from the 60s.

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Thursday 21st June – Friday 13th July: The Hum Comes from the Stumuch at Gladstone Gallery, Brussels

Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans brings together six artists whose stories share a conceptual and visual sensitivity. While one tries to create new meanings, the other searches for them within existing structures, and yet another questions these existing structures. Let’s make stories. 

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Thursday 21st June – Sunday 19th August: Somewhere in Between – Contemporary art scenes in Europe at BOZAR, Brussels

BOZAR gives carte blanche to five artistic sequences, thus engaging in a journey across Europe with artists chosen not upon nationality but via relation. A meditation on Europeanness – whatever that means.

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Thursday 21st June – Sunday 2nd September: Jacqueline Mesmaeker’s 21 MARS 1975 17H23 at M HKA, Antwerp

Explosive, instantaneous and mind-bending: M HKA’s upcoming exhibition will blow open any possibilities of space-time realities. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, Brussels-born Jacqueline Mesmaeker moulded her love of fashion and architectural design to forge the future of photography from the mid-70s onwards. Nothing is off limits as she draws inspiration from postcards and text fragments collected over the years. In particular, the body of work 21 Mars 1975 17h23 forces the audience to contemplate the impermanence of the present through 35 simultaneous shots taken at that fateful hour. By consequence, as an artist Mesmaeker effortlessly overcomes the typical constraints of capturing the world and her vision in the flesh is sure to take your breath away.

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 Thursday 21st June: Workshop BYE BYE Petite Ceinture at WTC 1, Brussels

What if we were to get rid of the Brussels inner ring? Discover the result of four co-creative city planning workshops rethinking Brussels and its infrastructures. Bye bye urban highways, traffic jams and pollution.

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Thursday 21st June: Nyege Nyege Tapes – The Sound of East Africa at AB, Brussels

The creative energy flowing out of Africa is nothing short of electric. Case in point, Kampala’s Nyege Nyege Tapes challenges the status quo, bringing a distinctively homegrown vibe to the dancefloor. Paying tribute to this emerging and vibrant scene, Brussels’ Ancienne Belgique unites the collective’s hottest DJs paired with a few pertinent workshops. Highlights include Otim Alpha and his righthand man Leo P-Layeng with their updated traditional Acholi rhythms and contemporary electronica. Don’t sleep.

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Thursday 21st June: Supper Club w/ ssaliva at Table Dance, Antwerp

Jj Funhouse‘s ssaliva is revealing his latest work unplugged vol.1, a collection of 11 sketches pop songs at Antwerp’s Table Dance for an intimate dinner-and-show. Blessed are those who make it.

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Thursday 21st June: Le Pacifique Records’ Release Party at C12, Brussels

Local rascals Le Pacifique Records have a brand new trick up this sleeve this summer, and will be unveiling their latest compilation release Various 02. Thursday night will see a very special release party in downtown Brussels’, with full attendance by Aidons Antoine, Lawrence Le Doux, Nobuo and Offshore §. Go show some love.

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Thursday 21st June: The Monastery A-LIFE at Kaaitheater, Brussels

From 6h to 19h, become aware of your approach to time and perception of public space. Join this experimental – spiritual – urban experience for one ritual or for the whole day, and come to realise everything going on around you. Come together.

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Friday 22nd June: Born in Flamez + Mika Oki + Otis at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

No need to say music always deserves a spot at Beursschouwburg, even during voetbalfestivaldefootball. This Friday, enjoy a rooftop session with Berlin fluid artist Born in Flamez, Slagwerk‘s Otis and The Word Radio girl-boss Mika Oki. Move your body to grime, industrial pop and ambient.

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Friday 22nd June: HORST Talk – Creatives Shaping Cities at WTC1, Brussels

Though they’re arguably more renowned for their yearly festival, HORST and it’s foundational body ONKRUID dabble in all things innovation, urbanity and the creative sector. And their regular Talk sessions are no exception: as part of IABR’s ongoing You Are Here research exhibition, this round involves Tbilisi’s BASSIANI, Zurich’s Urban-Think Tank and locals 019 and Toestand, as well as newcomer 24hbrussels. Essential.

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Friday 22nd June – Sunday 2nd September: Nina Canell’s Energy Budget at S.M.A.K., Ghent

Brand new exhibition set to take over S.M.A.K.‘s space, this time round inviting the Swedish Nina Canell and her grand scultuptures, adapting and metamorphosing with its surroundings. And as if that weren’t enough, the Friends of the S.M.A.K. collective will be revealing this year’s newcomer prize. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 23rd June: Blue at Surfclub, Ostend

The seaside filmclub Monokino will be hosting a rather exclusive screening on Derek Jarman’s Blue. The British filmmaker’s last ever project, his ode to everything and anything blue is finally shown 25 years later. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 23rd June: La Superette at Espace Georges Truffaut, Liège

We can’t wait for Liège’s Supervue Festival 2018, taking place on the last weekend of July – but thankfully the crew has heard our prayers, as they’ll be throwing a teaser party this Saturday. Get ready for heartwarming, foot-stomping tropicalia, all night long.

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Saturday 23rd June: Contrair Open Air 2018 at Noordkasteel, Antwerp

Antwerp’s heavy-hitting party crews Contrair and Kleinhouse team up to create Contrair Open Air, a daylong festival with a killer line-up including the likes of the UK’s Joy Orbison, Chilean-British Shanti Celeste, as well as local heroes Lefto, Hush Hefner and Red D. Three stages, nestled in the magical setting of Noordkasteel, with art installations and a program of lectures adding some food for thought to the mix.

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Saturday 23rd June: Season Closing at C12, Brussels

After a more than successful launch, Deep in House‘s C12 can rest assured that they’ve covered all possible bases this spring. After a heavy night with the likes of Italy’s Franceso Del Garda, France’s Abstraxion and locals Session 4000, Surfing Leons and DC Salas, they’ll be taking a well-earned break.  A round of applause.

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Saturday 23rd June: Fire is Gold 2018 at Drie Fonteinen, Vilvoorde

For its second edition running, urban arts festival Fire is Gold, hosted on the outskirts of Brussels, ticks all the right boxes with another line-up of sure shot highlights and heaters. London-native Stefflon Don’s cut-throat delivery, homegrown rapper Zwangere Guy’s unparalleled performance prowess and Kalash’s rough and rugged reggaeton all come together for a day of heavy beats and bars. Full support.

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Sunday 24th June: Brüxsel Jardin #43 at the Palace of Justice, Brussels

Your favourite open-air crew Brüxsel Jardin are back for another round at their homebase on Place Poelaertplein, with Berlin-based WHOANN alongside Chris Ferreira, Walrus and Deep in House‘s Gurl. Put on your Sunday finest.

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Sunday 24th June – Sunday 30th September: AntwerpPhoto 2018 at Loodswezen, Antwerp

Noticing a gap in the field and taking full advantage of it, Antwerp International Photography Festival kicks things off with a bang. Starting with four ambitious exhibitions, this brand new photography festival has enough to keep your summer plans full. Dutch-native Anton Corbijn showcases his timeless portraits of the 90s’ music industry greats in 1-2-3-4, from Nick Cave’s crumpled brow and signature mystery to electro pioneers Depeche Mode. Closer to home, Iconobelge is the labour of love courtesy of local talents – expect dreamy realism from Thomas Sweertvaegher, or Nick Hannes’ immersive landscapes. Last but not least, collections of the various Prix Carmignac’s winners will be put on display, including Lizzie Sadin’s pièce de résistance. More than enough to sink your teeth into.

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