20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Dark corners in Brussels, festival walks through Namur and thoughtful art in Antwerp. With an extra day to spare, go do the right thing.

Wednesday 31st October – 3rd November 2018: Bâtard 2018 in Brussels 

Bâtard brings a fruitful selection of contemporary performance to Brussels. Expect emergent artists showcasing a multidisciplinary array of mediums, including theatre, film, dance and debate to fill your evenings. Catch Núria Guiu Sagarra’s choreographed take on yoga, YouTube and the internet, or the showcase of Buren Blue Skies Forever, where the art videos of Pipolotti Rist parallel the pop genius of Beyonce. Start the weekend right.

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Wednesday 31st October – Saturday 8th December: Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s Rethink Redraw Rebar at Gallery Valerie Traan, Antwerp

This solo exhibition by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh brings floating, metal sculptures to Gallery Valerie Traan for the second time. Van Vaerenbergh’s artwork refuses categorisation as either architectural or artistic, bringing into question the role of the object as functional or as purely aesthetic. Art to make you think. 

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Wednesday 31st October: Lefto & RBE at Vooruit, Ghent

This Wednesday Democrazy brings you a lively lineup that transcends musical genres like Ghent hasn’t seen before. Expect soulful jazz rhythms from Joe Armon-Jones and Jungle By Night, joined by JD. Reid’s grime productions and host of the evening LEFTO. See you on the dance floor.

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Wednesday 31st October: LeSSaBBaTS & Friends at Benelux, Brussels

A self-professed FUBU soirée, this night offers a femme festival alternative to lighten up your Halloween night. Coming to Benelux are the apparently reincarnated Greta Garbo and Milka & Yursrha -a night not to miss.

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Wednesday 31st October: 38 jaar Radio Centraal at Het Bos, Antwerp

Live music and DJs to take you through to your bank holiday, in celebration of the institution that is Radio Centraal‘s turn of the year. Expect beats from Aimé Le Chevalier, Pippe and Snof, with live sets from Hantrax and Gebroeders Vanderstraten. A round of applause.

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Wednesday 31st October: Danse Macabre in Brussels

Promising the most marvellous ghoulish dances, The 4th Dimension brings a belter of an all-nighter party to end all parties. Expect music from Marouchka, Basses Terres, Martijn Verrycken, Lostsoundbytes and our very Mika Oki. Wear black and dance till morning.

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Wednesday 31st October – Friday 2nd November: FABRIK at Cas-co, Leuven

The youth of Leuven bring you Fabrik, a three-day arts festival encompassing workshops, art tours, talks, films and readings. It hopes to be a space where where music, art and entrepreneurship take the stage, where Cas-co is transformed into a cultural utopia” for the occasion. One not to miss.

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Wednesday 31st October – Sunday 11th November: Marginalia at Leiepark, Ghent

21 artists will showcase their work at this outdoor exhibition, taking place in a classical and otherworldly garden on the fringes of Ghent. The show evolves from the idea of medieval marginalia illustrations found in manuscripts, where supernatural and animistic characteristics often pervade the margins of pages. Bring a blanket and a curious mind.

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Wednesday 31st October: La Scie Dorée x Meakusma at Onder Ons, Koersel

Meakusma Festival may have ended in September, but they’ve teamed up with La Scie Dorée to bring you classical sounds reworked to a radically experimental level. Expect piano, clarinet and other instruments from the likes of Frederik Croene & Timo van Luijk, as well as Tom James Scott, Ecka Mordecai and Andrew Chalk.

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Wednesday 31st October: Another Function at Club1847, Ghent 

The Function brings you four Belgian DJs to make you forget that it’s only the middle of the week. Slagwerk‘s Otis is joined by doro, crat and icy fake to provide essential dance music like it’s supposed to be. 

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Thursday 1st November: Floida Skraqi & Alice Ciresola Talk at Cunst-link, Brussels

To mark the end of Floida Skraqi’s exhibition I Cheated on You, Cunst-link gallery brings you a talk between the artist and curator Alice Ciresola. Skraqi’s work encompasses photography, video and and installation, and deals with modes of intimacy in social and political contexts. This specific exhibition showcases her work Zhurmë, a video created in 2015 during her residency in Albania, aiming to explore the point of connection between repressive political systems and movements of the body. Bring this art dialogue to your bank holiday Thursday.

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Thursday 1st – Sunday 25th November: Dennis Tyfus’ Up- And Downgrades pt. 2,5 at Pinkie Bowtie, Antwerp

Colour pencil drawings are a rarity at contemporary art shows these days, besides this showcase of Dennis Tyfus‘ work at Pinkie Bowtie. Satirical, surreal and often sad, these works will entertain you and estrange you with their exaggerative meditations on loneliness. For something different. 

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Thursday 1st – Saturday 3rd November: KIKK Festival 2018 in Namur

“Species and beyond” is this year’s theme at the eighth edition of KIKK Festival in Namur, the yearfly ordeal covering all things art, architecture and technology. Participants will discover over 30 indoor and outdoor digital installations as they walk, guided by a map, through the festival grounds. Each work hopes to engage in a wider, socially conscious discussion about the impact of technology on the evolution of society. There will be talks from around 40 professionals from curators to entrepreneurs, as well as artworks from Marco Barotti and Miranda Moss. Bring your kids and bring your brain. 

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Friday 2nd – Friday 30th November: Ramen Bar at Kumiko, Brussels

Downtown resto-bar Kumiko is bringing a month-long residency of local DJs and producers for five instalments, namely STROOM‘s Nosedrip, ShunGu, DJ soFa, Louis Vogue and Menica. Dinner and a show.

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Saturday November 3rd: Ludovic Lamant’s Bruxelles Chantiers at Kanal, Brussels

The book launch of Ludovic Lamant comes to Kanal courtesy of CIVA this Saturday, to offer thoughts on the intersections between architectural style and the EU in Brussels. Lamant was a Brussels correspondent for Mediapart from 2012 to 2017, and in his publication documents meetings with architects and town planners, and MEPs and citizens. Placed alongside Traumnovelle, expect an insightful and parallactic portrait on Brussels’ buildings.

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Saturday 3rd November: Club Energie (Sport) at Fuifzaal Elysée, Ostend

Burn calories with EURO2000 (aka 1STE VERDIEP’s Sam Gunst)’s latest project ENERGIE’s sports-themed party. Heavy, gabberific beats from Tripped, Twan and U47 to ensure your Saturday stays spooky.

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Saturday 3rd – Saturday 17th November: Ernst Pinossi at Hypercorps, Brussels

Ernst Pinossi is the homonym of artists Dan Allon, Bert Jacobs and Ari-Pekka Leinonen, who have recently collaborated together for a three-week residency. The exhibition opening on Saturday presents the viewer with a habitat or house, being a multi-media installation, conceptually centred around the imagination and human memories. A sight to see.

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Saturday 3rd – Friday 30th November: Phantasmata at Tropicana, Brussels 

The artist Kasper Demeulemeester has previously taken willing participants on what he called  Photographic-Therapeutic Walks. Images from these ambulations will be on display at his new exhibition Phantasmata, which opens to the public this Saturday in Brussels. The photographs are riso-printed work on paper, and hope to explore “the digital turning physical”. While an onlooker at this exhibition, you can also engage in the last of the artist’s series of walks, around the neighbourhood of the gallery. For a different and active art experience. 

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Sunday 4th – Sunday 11th November: Renée Pevernagie’s Outside of Time at BLANCO, Ghent

Don’t miss Renée Pevernagie’s opening exhibition of drawings. Her works scratch away at remnants of charcoal, leaving complex gradients and patterns underneath that are worked on top of in a palimpsestic construction. The result produces eery and dark mediations on botany and interior space. For something quiet and brooding.

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Sunday 4th – Sunday 25th November: Sarah De Vos’ Black Mirror at De Wael 15, Antwerp

Sarah De Vos‘ new solo exhibition is centred around the black mirror of the smartphone screen: its shiny surface, its sinister qualities. The artist has painted on glass and wooden panels, to create images that are in dialogue with an art historical feel for social media, photography and portraiture. The viewer might see themselves in the reflective surface of De Vos’ works, disrupting the conventional pictorial field and collapsing the boundaries between art and viewer. A thoughtful and promising show to end the weekend right.

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