20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Timeless jazz in Brussels, collective social justice in Antwerp and three-by-threes in Liège. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 13th September – Saturday 27th October: Julien Meert’s City Crazy at Sorry, We’re Closed, Brussels

Julien Meert will be presenting his pictorial work, which at once appropriates hyper figurations and seamlessly blends radically disembodied elements into them. The artist attempts to transform his singular experience into an aesthetic expression, and to give form to his perceptions through a contemporary and utilitarian approach to painting. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 13th September –  Saturday 18th May: The Best of Belgian Jazz, Brussels

As one of the main pillars of Flagey’s already impressive agenda, it isn’t surprising that the cultural venue is dedicating four months to an expansive series promoting the vibrant local jazz scene. Their series of concerts showcases the best in both upcoming as well as thriving musicians on the block – or from further afield – and encourages them to form cross-border collaborations. Alongside this thematic season, Flagey is collaborating with JazzLab, the network-cum-platform for the busy Belgian jazz community. For this occasion, both organisations have put their hands together to create a brand-new project giving leading jazz musicians a chance to experiment with the genre’s past, present and future.

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Thursday 13th September – Monday 7th January: Red and White at Kanal, Brussels

Revisit a chapter of industrial history inspired by 60s minimalism with ADAM [Brussels Design Museum] and Kanal, with an hommage to the red and white colours echoing the former Citroën’s original showroom logo design. Don’t miss the chance to see how these artists convey a new hedonistic approach with fluid, wave-like forms of everyday objects that allude to a new relationship between our bodies and their surrounding space.

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© Hans Hollein (1972)

Thursday 13th September – Thursday 18th October: Nadia Naveau’s Five Funny Minutes at Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerp

Sculptor and artist Nadia Naveau will be exhibiting a gallery of her latest works in Antwerp’s Base-Alpha Gallery in Antwerp. With a vision materialised through ceramics, polyester, concrete and plastic, all her statues contain an individual story which blurs the borders between figurative and abstract art, often mixing classic and contemporary to create delightfully twisted works of sculpting.

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Thursday 13th  September: Berlin in Brussels’ Grand Opening in Brussels

It’s a good day for the fashion conscious and trendy: Farrah Floyd, Of/Berlin and Start Styling will be unveiling their retail concepts brought straight from Berlin, courtesy of Taste.Brussels. Street food and craft sodas will be available during the night while you browse, socialise, eat and enjoy diverse sounds.

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Thursday 13th September: Midi Fish w/Sara Fuego, Céline & JF + Acte Bonté, Brussels

Brand new Brussels-based label Midi Fish is inviting you to a night of concerts for their first release, courtesy of Sara Fuego. She’ll be joined by Céline & Jean-François and Acte Bonte – go show some love.

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Friday 14th September: You Are Here #2 at WTC1, Brussels

You Are Here is back from a summer break with their second stint. Friday night’s opening includes a screening of the documentary Manhattan, Brussels and talk with the creator Kwinten Gernay. Following that, twilight drinks on the highrise rooftop with a sound setting provided by The Word Radio residents Brokers amongst others make this one to note down. This collective effort is the product of Architecture Workroom Brussels, in co-production with Team Vlaams Bouwmeester and Up4North with the support of Vlaamse Overheid and Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest all in the framework of IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK. Full support.

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Friday 14th – Friday 28th September: Wish List at Het Bos, Antwerp

The non-profit literary collective The Writer’s Bench will be curating a series of talks, films and performances with artists and creative figures. Over the course of five installations, Wish List will be assembling some of the greats, including Sunny Bergman and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Education is key.

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Friday 14th September – Sunday 14th October : 1+1+1=3 at DMW Art Space, Antwerp

Art lovers are treated to a month-long triple treat: DMW Art Space is launching a group exhibition with Caroline Van Den Eynden, Denitsa Todorova and Dries Segers. Allow yourself to be mesmerised by their minimalist architectural photography, geometrical art and graphic designs.

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Friday 14th September: Occupation and Hospitality at 019, Ghent

APE (Art Paper Editions) and Smoke & Dust are working together to release three essays, authored by Tom Van Imschoot, Prem Krishnamurthy and Jan De Vylder resepctively. Furthermore, an exhibition presenting Michiel De Cleene’s photo-essays will complete the publication celebration. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th September: La Part Mortelle in Brussels

A surreal world of changing matters, where walls melt into membranes and shades turn into murals. You only need to follow in the car and go along for the ride into the collective mind of more than a dozen artists, including the likes of Aline Bouvy & John Gillis, Alizée Quitman, Julian Weber and Kareem Lotfy. Utterly spoilt.

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Saturday 15th September: The Last Rave at DIESEL, Liège

DIESEL project space is kicking off their season with a bang, namely a trio exhibition by Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx, Indriķis Ģelzis and Tom Volkaert. To top it off, Vlek‘s Brice Dreessen, HE4RTBROKEN‘s Munix and Liyo, ssaliva and Slagwerk‘s Otis will be lighting it up with B2B sets. Get your gladrags on.

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Saturday 15th September – Sunday 4th November: Middle Gate II – Story of Dymphna at M HKA, Antwerp

Witness the revival of the 7th century story of the Orthodox Saint Dymphna by four female artists, namely Nel Aerts, Els Dietvorst, Liliane Vertessen and Tinka Pittoors. Various themes – migration, madness, spirituality and violence – will be explored in different locations. A must.

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Saturday 15th September: Trading Places Label Launch at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Record label Trading Places is doing things big, celebrating their founding in the best way possible. After unveiling a collaborative project with Carhartt Work In Progress with SHUNGU handling sonic duties, the afterparty will follow on Beursschouwsburg’s rooftop with tunes by Funkineven and the label artists. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 15th September – Sunday 14th October: Paulo Monteiro & Anniversary Exhibition 4×60 years at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Paulo Monteiro’s first solo exhibition will unveil at Zeno X Gallery. With an impressive career dating back to the late 70s, his masterpieces will be accompanied by a group exhibition celebrating four artists – Dirk Braeckman, Jan De Maesschalck, Kees Goudzwaard and Luc Tuymans. No excuses.

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Saturday 15th September – Sunday 16th December: Charivari at Church of our Lady of Pamele, Oudenaarde

An astonishing line-up of 29 contemporary artists – both local and European – is brought together in the East Flemish town, as a reflection and response to the Adriaen Brouwer exhibition Master of Emotions, currently on display at the neighbouring MOU. Treat yourselves.

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Saturday 15th September – Saturday 17th November: TRUST at Les Brasseurs, Liège

TRUST is a grand collaborative effort between Liège’s Les Brasseurs and Ghent’s S.M.A.K. – more specifically, the displayment of a selection of the former’s most recent purchases at the latter. The exhibition also invites you to reflect on the importance of contemporary art in the city as well as today’s world. TRUST boasts a collection of work from under 30 artists who all want to exchange their points of view and vision on the challenges facing contemporary art. Full support.

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Sunday 16th September –  Sunday 21st October: Lisa Vlaemminck & Mike Pratt at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent

Keep an eye out for Lisa Vlaemminck’s two first solo exhibitions: extraordinary still life pantings combining exotism with the rawness of the earth. Her choice to neglect objects, placing them within a new reality instead offers a transcendental view of the object itself. She combines the melancholy of a dreary pant with the aesthetic of a strip club from the 80s with a conscious interaction between the phenomenon and its history. Along side Lisa’s exhibition, the British painter and Sculptor Mike Pratt will be exhibiting his latest works in “The Baffled Chef” which take on a narrative approach using simple gestures and frank remarks. Mike’s practice is heavily led by material and process, often obscuring the subject and displaying a distance of uncertainty. He takes this as a viewpoint for the work to gain its own characteristics. Delightful.

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Sunday 16th – Saturday 22nd September: Mobility Week in Brussels

It’s that time of year again: the capital city will be car-free this Sunday, kicking off this year’s Mobility Week, a host of events with an environmental motif. Events, workshops and activities will be aimed at alternative modes of transportation, like biking, skating and roller-blading, along with sport tournaments and outings scattered throughout Brussels. End the weekend right.

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