Non-stop revitalisation in Leuven, visual disobedience in Charleroi and The Word Radio takeovers in Brussels. Go do the right thing.

Sunday 30th September: The Word Radio x WIELS at WIELS, Brussels 

The Word Radio will be taking over the Forest/Vorst-based contemporary art centre WIELS‘ for the second time round this Sunday. Pop into the large concrete structure for some creative beats by The Hope and Poxcat crews, and of course check out the new Koenraad Dedobbeleer exhibition while you’re at it. See you there.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 11th November: Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial at BOZAR, Brussels

This biennale spans over two months in Brussels and is a combination of workshops, an exhibition, curated walks and lectures. The landscape has long been perceived as an icon of rural harmony in opposition to the city. Despite this, its shaping in the city fully contributes to the sense of the public’s well-being. Created in 2016 by the Minister for the Environment and Quality of Life Céline Fremault, BULB aims to publicise the richness of our region in this field, but also to question the many challenges and the long-term vision. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 27th January: Raoul De Keyser’s oeuvre at SMAK, Ghent

Although Raoul De Keyser wasn’t able to celebrate the golden jubilee of his five decades as one of the most influential and stirring artists of his time, he did leave behind an unforgettable oeuvre. Known for his discrete works which at once are both abstract and straightforward, cryptic and figurative, he explored the physicality and possibilities of painting and questioned its power as a medium. By experimenting with spatial illusions and often unrecognisable figures, he created a new reality in which every day, trivial-seeming experiences are enriched by the unexpected. In these simple gestures and strokes, he found strong emotion and intuition a way to convey grandeur that even the more ornate styles such as Baroque failed to. Alongside a programme of excerpts showing the life and work of the painter’s painter, this first-ever posthumous retrospective œuvre chronologically unfolds over 100 paintings and 50 watercolour and drawings, starting in 1964 and ending with his last works six years ago. A round of applause.

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Thursday 27th September – Thursday 4th October: 100Czech – The Story of Czech design in Brussels 

If you fancy some urban ambulation this weekend through Ixelles/Elsene, discover cafés, barber shops, flower shops and restaurants displaying a cubist chair or a series of vases made of Bohemia crystal, courtesy of Czech Centre Brussels. You can even expect popular toys from the 60s or 21st century Czech avant-garde porcelain. There’s plenty of reasons to celebrate Czech design’s long-lasting legacy.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 6th January: US OR CHAOS at BPS22, Charleroi

In a time when power, money and everything that comes with it seems as disproportionately exclusive as ever, the London-based project a/political presents an exhibition revealing this disparate system. In collaboration with today’s most politically and socially engaged artists, US OR CHAOS brings together over 40 powerful artworks from its collection, at times dominant and monumental yet suddenly toned down to become minimalist and subconsciously shocking. Both individually and in unison, the works explore the repressive techniques applied by the state to subdue and dehumanise citizens; and the agitators, which are – as a result of the subjugation – disobedient in their self-sacrifice to battle the system. A necessity to make a difference and bring an end to the imbalance in power.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 16th December: Extra States – Nations in Liquidation at Extra City, Antwerp

British writer H.G. Wells once wrote, “If there is to be a permanent peace of the world, it is clear that there must be some permanent means of settling disputes between Powers and nations that would otherwise be at war.” In his 1916 nonfictional prophesy predicting a post-war society, his notion of the state was completely different from that of today, with institutions like the International Monetary Fund, EU and Facebook now challenging or recreating the traditional roles of states. The exhibition, curated by iLiana Fokianaki as an extension of her previous co-curation Extra Citizen, brings together several artists who critically analyse and artistically ponder the future of international politics, economics and societies in general. By exploring “extra” statehoods, it plots to explain what socio- political entities can creatively consist of today.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 23rd December: Teresa Cos’ The Measure of Disorder at Argos, Brussels 

Brussels-based Italian contemporary artist Teresa Cos recently completed a residency at WIELS, and has embarked on a new show in Argos. In it you will find traces of history, science, cinema and philosophy. It features a new two-channel video and sound installation following the journey of Austrian scientist Ludwig Bolzmann. One to keep an eye on. 

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 20th January: Lisa De Boeck & Marilène Coolens’ memymom at Le Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi

Mother and daughter act Lisa De Boeck and Marilène Coolens have arguably been at the photography game since the younger De Boeck was an unknowing child yet to be born. With a new publication coming out, the Brussels-based pair reveal their first ever solo exhibition at Charleroi’s Musée de la Photographie. Keep it in the family.

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Thursday 27th September – Friday 12th October: IGLOO X ERG at ERG Gallery, Brussels

To celebrate its 40th birthday, Igloo Records is holding an exhibition, having selected 40 album covers made by visual artists. The label has always involved visual artists and graphic artists in the production of its album covers, from poet verbophonist Arthur Petronio to handcrafted silkscreen prints. A round of applause.

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Thursday 27th – Saturday 30th September: STUK Re-Start at STUK, Leuven

The student city of Leuven is waking up from its summer slumber with a belter of a party: 36 hours of non-stop unadulterated fun, spread out across STUK‘s concrete complex. From lectures and morning excercise sessions to concerts and sets, this is sure to kick you into the right direction for the new season.

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Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September: Nuits Sonores & European Lab Brussels 2018 in Brussels

Following an exciting first edition, the creative forces behind Nuits Sonores – namely the Lyon-based collective Arty Farty – put their restless minds together with Brussels’ BOZAR to bring the promising electronic music festival to our vibrant capital. And as if that weren’t enough, the festival will be complemented by European Lab Brussels, a four-day affair which will broaden artistic horizons, question the political, social and cultural role of Europe in this creative sphere, and celebrate European diversity and international cultural collaboration. The Word Radio will be present too, moderating a roundtable discussion on Brussels’ nightlife with cultural actors from the scene on Thursday 27th. Full support.

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Thursday 27th September – Friday 5th October: Opening Acts – On acausal connecting principles at M HKA, Antwerp

Part exhibition, part performance, On acausal connecting principles unfolds in five acts and is organised by the Amsterdam curatorial platform Heterotropics. Their research is centred around theories of coincidence and non linear time, and are interested in psychic and physical states. Don’t sleep.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 27th January: Resistance at Centrale for Contemporary Art, Brussels

With no signs of slowing down, Brussels’ cultural institutions are relentlessly carrying on the revolutionary torch 50 years after the infamous May 1968 protests and general period of global unrest. Starting late September, the downtown space Centrale is doing their bit by bridging the gap between the historical fight for human rights and the use of art to express global frustrations. Furthermore, their platform Open Academy creates a safe space for academic institutions and students to engage in debates, study artistic propositions and explore the dialogue between art and anarchism. Studying both the strengths and rises of protest and the defeats and falls of resistance through historical pieces originating from the decade of revolt, Resistance has all the ingredients for revolutionary enlightenment.

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Thursday 27th September – Sunday 10th February: René Heyvaert at Museum M in Leuven

This posthumous exhibition of the architect and artist René Heyvaert opens on Thursday evening and brings together one hundred works selected from the Cera Collection. Expect poetic objects, taken out of context and semantically altered.

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Thursday 27th September: Opening night at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Abrand new exhibition space opens in Beursschouwburg this Thursday, with Russian-Belgian artist Margarita Maximova’s solo exhibition christening the space. To entrench the Thursday party vibes, expect margaritas and a special B2B set between Jan Matthé and Joke Leonare. Don’t miss the unveiling.

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Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September: IS IT DARK? at Het Bos, Antwerp

AIR Antwerpen’s latest artist residency witnessed the coming together of collectives Encore and Sexes, and this weekend will see the unveiling of the fruits of their labour at Het Bos. Centred around the near-mythical figure Liza’N’Eliaz, the joint project seeks to explore the crossovers between rave culture, identity politics and hardcore electronics. From an exhibition to party sets, this is not for the faint of heart.

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Thursday 27th September: CIVA TALK at Kanal, Brussels 

Don’t miss this talk with CIVA: as part of their series of debates aimed at shedding light on the evolution and characteristics of public-private aspects of the capital, this Thursday will bring together Johan Anrys from 51N4E, Joachim Declerck from Architecture Workroom Brussels, Stephanie Marques dos Santos from the Citizen’s Platform for Refugee Support and Up 4 North. Education is key.

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Thursday 27th September: Remake – Another script proposal at Hypercorps, Brussels

With the end of th summer season, another artist residency programme is ready to unveil their workings: Brussels’ Hypercorps and independent curator Nicolas de Ribou granted carte blanche to young Spanish Abel Jaramillo, which was then exhibited in a Barcelona-based gallery. Returning to Hypercorps, Jaramillo and de Ribou have no intention of replicating the exhibition perfectly – instead, they prefer to come up with new strategies and flip logic on its head. Don’t sleep.

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Friday 28th September – Sunday 24th February: SOFT? Tactile Dialogues at Maurice Verbaet Center, Antwerp

Predicated on a rich history of the integration of feminism and post-minimalist art with textiles, this new exhibition at the Maurice Verbaet Centre, and in collaboration with Antwerp’s fashion centre MoMu, veers the gallery’s centre away from fashion and into visual art. Belgian artists such as Veerle Dupont, Suzannah Olieux and Liberta Ferket feature cross-culturally alongside Belgian-Polish artist TAPTA. A must.

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Friday 28th September: Ata Kak, Linn Da Quebrada & Borokov Borokov at Vooruit, Ghent

Ghent’s Vooruit has got all sonic bases covered this Friday, from Brazilian femcee Linn da Quebrada and Ghanain cult legend Ata Kak to locals Borokov Borokov and HUNA, this is not to be missed. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 28th September – Sunday 25th November: Arpaïs Du Bois’ Trébucheurs-Piétineurs at De Garage, Mechelen

Ghent native Arpaïs Du Bois brings image and text, figure and abstraction together in this exhibition at CC Mechelen’s De Garage. Expect furiously scribbled marks of pencil alongside intense oil paint, rounding up altogether at 160 new works. Visitors can stumble past three dimensional installations and peer into small and detailed daily sketchbooks. A treat.

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Saturday 29th September: Lost In Nightlife – Italo Disco Legacy at De Studio, Antwerp

The House on Fire Kollektive presents its first collaboration with Antwerp’s De Studio this Saturday. Get ready for a night dedicated to all things italo disco, from a screening of Pietro Anton’s documentary and special sets by Betonkunst, Innershades and DJ soFa. Get your gladrags on.

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Saturday 29th September: Kuiperskaai’s Hamlet at Kaaitheater, Brussels 

Kuiperskaai theatre company, lead by young Brussels-born Lisaboa Houbrecht, is presenting their own rendition of the Shakespeare classic Hamlet this Saturday, focussing on the feminine point of view in family drama and centralising on Hamlet’s relationship with his mother Gertrude. Unusually, the piece will also be played by real family members: actress and Needcompany member Grace Ellen Barkey plays Gertrude, Grace’s son Victor Lauwers plays Hamlet and her daughter Romy Louise Lauwers plays Ophelia. For something different and special.

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Sunday 30th September: Leak Out at Villa Empain, Brussels

Get some Sunday afternoon feels with this 40 minute performance by Anastasia Bay and Julien Saudubray, choreographed by Juliette Otter with the support of Clovis XV. The piece features sculpture work by two visual artists and a carefully crafted soundtrack. It’s all eyes and ears.

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Sunday 30th September – Wednesday 10th October: Miet Warlop’s Ghost writer and the broken hand break at NTGent, Ghent 

In this three-piece performance production, Miet Warlop offers a modern and Western version of the Sufi swirling that we associate with the dervishes. The current artist in residence at Vooruit for over two years now, her play comes to Ghent this weekend as a combination of recitation, dance and musical performance. Head over to the theatre for some mysterious and unique visual and sonic stimuli. End the weekend right.

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Friday 5th October: The Word Radio x STUK at STUK, Leuven

Finally, next weekend catch our very own The Word Radio event in collaboration with STUK: a listening evening with talks and concerts steeped in balearic exotica and colourful ambience. Top of the bill is LA-based ambient composer Sarah Davachi, known for her astute combination of synthesizer drones, ethereal vocals and acoustic instruments with renaissance tunings. Second in line is Californian synth specialist E Ruscha V, the son of pop-art icon Ed Ruscha, who released his dreamy debut Who Are You this year. Last but not least, Brussels-based French producer Roméo Poirier will be opening the evening’s proceedings with his now-signature blend of sub-tropical, aquatic lo-fi compositions.

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