Birthday celebrations in Brussels, A4 print mania in Liège and upbeat tempos in Leuven. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 31st January – Wednesday 3rd April: Europe – The 2019-1919 Countdown at BOZAR, Brussels

2019: the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and an election year. Pinpointing four key dates in European history, historians join together to trace the trajectory of Europe from the end of World War I to present day, in the hopes of considering its potential futures. A pivotal conversation in light of this unpredictable election year. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 31st January – Friday 1st February: Chiara Bersani’s Gentle Unicorn at Vooruit, Ghent

In Gentle Unicorn, Italian choregrapher Chiara Bersani investigates the mythology and history behind the ubiquitous unicorn through contemporary dance and performance alongside Alessandro Sciarroni and Jérôme Bel, with an aim of giving the exquisite creature agency, hope and love. Not to be missed.

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Thursday 31st January – Friday 22nd March: Al Freeman and Loup Sarion’s Tuff Titties at Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels

An exhibition loaded with contradictions, Al Freeman removes function from everyday objects using polyester and stuffing, rendering them “useless”; while Loup Sarion’s large-scale wall-mounted tongues raise questions about role and purpose. What happens when form doesn’t fit function? A promise to make you laugh.

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Thursday 31st January – Sunday 3rd February: Synesthesia at Gouvernement, Ghent

Six mixed media students from LUCA join together at this group exhibition to showcase their talents at Gouvernement. Photography, found objects, sculpture and performance are all promised and are sure to engage your senses. See you there.

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Thursday 31st January – Sunday 3rd March: Marlies de Clerck at Factory60, Brussels

Following an exhibition at M HKA in Antwerp, Marlies de Clerck comes down to Brussels this season. Her paintings, depicting inanimate objects in the form of ancient statuettes, vases and other artifacts against a modest background, open up an engaging dialogue between audience, artist and artifact. Full support.

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Thursday 31st January – Saturday 30th March: Jacqueline Mesmaeker at La Verrière, Brussels

The highly anticipated conclusive exhibition of La Verrière’s Ballistic Poetry cycle will see Jacqueline Mesmaeker present a distinguished collection of works, consisting of a series of monochromatic landscape photography as well as an arrangement of new and existing works. Treat yourselves.

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Thursday 31st January: Garage Pirate at RECYCLART, Brussels

RECYCLART are kicking off a brand new party series dubbed Garage Pirate, complete with DJ sets and art shows. From Kasper Demeulemeester‘s Phantasmata, which unveils an impressive series of rice paper risography, to a blood-boiling performance by Hantrax, this is sure to be a night to remember.

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Thursday 31st January: La Nuit des Idées at Kanal, Brussels

Promising to be an eclectic evening, La Nuit des Idées hopes to create a space where ideas can be fostered, knowledge can be shared and anyone and everyone – from writers to entrepreneurs – can join together to listen, learn and reflect. If you’re interested in gaining new perspectives, this is for you. Keep an eye out for Antwerp and Liége editions, too.

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Friday 1st February – Friday 31st May: EXTRA 2019 across Belgium

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. A country-wide programme highlighting the work of Belgium-based French creators, with events ranging from photography exhibitions to dance performances allacross Belgium, so there’s no excuse not to go. Highlights include multidisciplinary discussions, Contour Biennale‘s Coltan as Cotton in Mechelen, passionate performances from Nadia Beugré at Vooruit and a dynamic exhibition from François Curlet at MAC’s. Something for everyone.

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Friday 1st February – Sunday 28th April: Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne’s Liquid Intelligence / Benoît Platéus One Inch Off at WIELS, Brussels

WIELS is going all out this weekend with two new grand exhibition openings. World-famous Ellen Gallagher draws inspiration from American history and culture through conventional images, black idols and the radicalisation of symbols, with a multifaceted oeuvre focussing on rift between organic iconographies and microbiological forms. In Liquid Intelligence, these seemingly juxtaposing themes are brought together by Edgar Cleijne in two film installations. In an exhibition showing both seen and never-before-seen works, One Inch Off is a place to meditate on Liègois Benoît Platéus‘ creative body of photographic works, ranging from his early photographs to more recent paintings, all while considering the shift from analogue to digital. Two for one.

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Friday 1st February – Saturday 30th March: Poster Town at Les Chiroux Liège, Liège

Our favourite graphic design festival Fig. is teaming up with Les Chiroux Liège to present Poster Town, Swiss collective Weltformat love for the A4 print medium.  The next two months will see a number of workshops, debates and of course, the third edition of Fig. made available. Full support.

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Friday 1st February – Sunday 2nd February: Birthday Weekend at C12, Brussels

To celebrate their first birthday and a year of killer parties, C12 is bringing together the photography of  Lara Gasparatto and Antoine Grenez with the writings of Simon Johannin to host Après la pluie, exploring their desire for life and passion for nightlife, parties and friendship. After the exhibition, head to the afterparty and satisfy your cravings by listening to the unique sounds of Parrish Smith and Vladimir Ivkovic. Happy birthday.

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Friday 1st February – Sunday 17th March: At Night You Dance at Barbé Urbain, Ghent

Barbé Urbain is kicking off February just right with a trio group show featuring Justin Orvin Steimer, Tamara van San and Adelheid de WitteAt Night You Dance showcases artists using distinct mediums – from boat sails to porcelain – in one cohesive space. Not to be missed.

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Friday 1st February – Thursday 25 April: Normal Schnormal at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Defining normality is an age-old quest refering to almost anything, and it’s one humans have been asking for centuries. With this in mind, Beursschouwburg launches its latest programme Normal Schnormal. Friday’s opening night alone sees an unapolagetic yet enthralling performance by Nora Turato, while other weekend highlights include a performance by Ntando Cele, a looped screening of Pol Merchan’s Pirate Boys, and a party going on into the wee hours. A round of applause.

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Friday 1st February: Max Abysmal, AAguilAA + Tofec at STELPLAATS, Leuven

Boogie your Friday night away with Amsterdam-based Max Abysmal’s slow tempos mixed with jungle, lo-fi electro and raw 80s funk alongside local AAguilAA’s exciting mix of house and techno. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 1st February: Jan Blondeel’s Ann Veronica Janssens at PointCulture, Brussels

Head to PointCulture‘s documentary screening this Friday: local artist Ann Veronica Janssen’s sensory explorations are experienced in this hour-long film dating back to 2011. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours, lose yourself in time and space and imagine cold fog engulfing your body. An experience for all the senses.

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Friday 1st February – Sunday 3rd February: Maintenance at In De Ruimte, Ghent

Part of Vooruit’s current programme Women and Children First, a new festival dissecting the privileges and disadvantages of this oft-repeated phrase, this weekend-long affair focusses on the idea of invisible labour: women’s work in the house is always present, yet often not given enough recognition. Challenging this notion using bodies and material, this is art to make you think.

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Friday 1st February: Lostsoundbytes’ Rusty Tractor EP Release Party at Brasserie Atlas, Brussels

On a night to celebrate the release of local rascal Lostsoundbytes‘ lastest release, party to eclectic tracks from a heavy duty line-up which includes Eindkrak, Opaque, René Coulteau, Colt, and of course the man himself. Get out there and get celebrating.

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Friday 1st February – Sunday 24th March: Mous Lamrabat’s Mousganistan at Zwijgershoek, Sint-Niklaas

In this impressive display of photography, Mous Lamrabat constructs his own absurd universe – dubbed Mousganistan – through humour, logos, branding and iconography to offer some relief from the heaviness of life. A true visual storyteller and photographer, this is a must.

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Friday 1st February: Hélène Drénou / Zwangere Guy + Berry & Phasm at Le Vecteur, Charleroi

A unique amalgamation of rap, visual arts and literature is taking over Le Vecteur this Friday, proving that seemingly disparate art forms can have parallels. This event will showcase the intricate work of Hélène Drénou alongside The Word favourites Zwangere Guy and Berry & Phasm wowing the crowds. Utterly spoilt.

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Saturday 2nd February – Sunday 14th April: Two Men Standing. Part 2 at Out of Sight, Antwerp

An exhibition presenting the work of three artists – Awoiska van der Molen, Anna Hofbauer, Ibro Hasanović -, Two Men Standing. Part 2 investigates where we come from, the baggage we carry and what this comes to mean when we encounter others. With the impact of history and culture and the power of interpretation at the fore of this exhibition, this is one not to miss.

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Saturday 2nd February: 2 Years Kumiko at Kumiko, Brussels

This weekend marks two years of Kumiko serving up delicious dishes and tasty tunes. Join the nightlife institution to celebrate their anniversary, with Cleveland and Fais le Beau offering their musical creations to keep the dancing going late into the night. A round of applause.

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Saturday 2nd February – Sunday 24th February: There is a Storm, Copy That at MAS, Antwerp

An impressive line-up of artists are involved in There is a storm, copy that: The month-long take-over hosted by the Frans Masereel Centrum will investigate the relationship between visual art and sound through art forms like sampling, deconstruction and collage, with Morbus Gravis curating the sound programme. Listen carefully.

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Saturday 2nd February: BOEM 2019 at Het Bos, Antwerp

Get immersed in electronic music at this year’s BOEM. With 14 composers – both French- and Dutch-speaking – on board, the eclectic mix will appeal to the genre’s veterans and newcomers alike. Valery Vermeulen, Jean-Louis Poliart and Moniek Darge are set to perform. See you there.

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Saturday 2nd February: African Boogie Nights’ Turkish Special at Pekfabrik, Antwerp

Baris K is one to watch on Istanbul’s night life scene, mixing house, techno and psychedelic sounds with ease. Flirt with his unique take on disco or be taken by his new wave sounds at DTM Funk‘s latest instalment of African Boogie Nights. No sleep.

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Saturday 2nd February – Saturday 6th April: Louis Stettner’s A Day to Remember / Eric Manigaud’s RAS (Rien à Signaler) at GALLERY FIFTY ONE / TOO, Antwerp

In a double bill, GALLERY FIFTY ONE welcomes Louis Stettner and Eric Manigaud. In A Day to Remember, we see an impressive oeuvre of 40 works on display altogether for the first time, tracing the eventful life of Stettner, from his military enlistment to living in Paris. Alongside this, Manigaud brings us striking photorealistic graphite drawings inspired by archived photography of the Paris massacre of 1961.

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Sunday 3rd February: John Watkinson + Mr Day at YIAP, Brussels

In a live experimental session, UK-based researcher and author John Watkinson from the HP Legend Project discusses the recent discovery that speakers emit sounds and frequencies unperceptible to the human ear. Following his talk, the longstanding one man act Mr Day will perform with this all in mind. Find out what you’re missing.

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Sunday 3rd February – Sunday 17th March: Thom Puckey’s Appearances and Faint Revelations at Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp

An exhibition that explores the sculptural work of Thom Puckey: an active performance artist in the 70s with the established duo Reindeer Werk, Puckey’s more recent marble sculptures refer to classical sculpture in their anatomical detail as well as evoke his experience in performance. His choice of material offers a striking juxtaposition against his content. Promises to be dynamic, subversive and alluring.

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Sunday 3rd February – Sunday 19th May: Hors Pistes – Rencontres au Groenland at CID, Grand-Hornu

In CID’s latest exhibition, artists present their experiences from a month-long exchange in Nuuk, Greenland. Through this residency programme, artists have the opportunity to partake in a unique cultural exchange where understanding different values, sharing skills – like embroidery, kayak making and fishing – and getting to grips with Greenland is at the fore of their experience. Get inspired.

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Sunday 3rd February: Sunday Matinee at TRANS, Antwerp

Antwerp’s lastest nightlife addition TRANS is hosting yet another sought-after event. Get sweaty and lose your inhibitions with the likes of PJay, Delbaen and Arne for an aptly-titled Sunday matinee. End the weekend right.

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