30 things to do in Belgium this weekend

A special edition dedicated to Brussels’ contemporary art week of the year, and of course, various not-to-be-missed opportunities throughout the country to shake the week off. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd April: Poppositions 2018 in Brussels

With this year’s 7th edition, themed In Watermelon Sugar, Poppositions continues in its guest to initiate a dialogue outside the traditional contemporary art discourse. More than your usual art fair, a series of artistic proposals that aim to address the urgent matters in a world facing the weakening of life forms and the instability of environments will be proposed by a tightly-curated selection of artists, collectives, curators and collectors. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd April: Art Brussels 2018 in Brussels

Celebrating its 50th edition this year, heavyweight contemporary art fair Art Brussels goes back to its roots, working with key Belgian galleries and artistic projects in a bid to further reinforce its integration with the Belgian artistic scene. Galleries like Sorry We’re Closed, Office Baroque, and artlead SALON are extending their opening hours for this special event.

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Thursday 18th April – Saturday 2nd June: Olaf Holzapfel at Galerie Albert Baronian, Brussels

While using diverse materials Olaf Holzapfel plays around with surface and space for his second solo exhibition. His sculptures make up an impressive range of sizes, ever so fascinating in its attempt to deal with the connections between our world and materials. Not to be missed.

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Thursday 19th April – Sunday 13th May: Stéphane Charpentier’s Eclairages at 44 Gallery, Brugge

Shining light into darkness, appearances may be deceiving as Stéphane Charpentier claims to be an endearing optimist. By focussing his lens on the emotionally uncomfortable fringes of social interaction, he forces the viewer to seek the warm underbelly always present in humanity. You have to see it to believe it.

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Thursday 19th April – Saturday 26th May: Ella Littwitz’s And a third of the water becomes wormwood at Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels

H2O is all living beings’ common denominator: from creepy crawlies to majestic eagles, everyone depends on Earth’s most precious commodity. Israeli visual artist Ella Littwitz suspends our expectations by questioning our relationship to water. Socially and politically engaged with implications of the Mediterranean as a conduit for trade as well as a destructive entity. Essential.

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Thursday 19th April: Mauro Pawlowski & Braaknoot Ensemble’s Ode to Boudewijn de Groot at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels

It’s hard to believe that Boudewijn de Groot’s landmark album Nacht en Ontij was released half a century ago. Ancienne Belgique has teamed up with contemporary occultists Mauro Pawlowski and Braaknoot Ensemble to reinterpret the ground-breaking tracks. Psychedelic, obscure and guaranteed to be a good time.

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Thursday 19th April – Saturday 26th May: The Scale of Persona and Possibility at Super Dakota, Brussels

The group show The Scale of Persona And Possibility brings American, French, British and Swiss artists together in a poetic reflection on being at the crossroad of the known and the unknown. Alex Clarke, Sarah Derat, Fischli & Weiss, Douglas Gordon, Wade Guyton, Louis Malle, Adam Pendleton, Raymond Pettibon, Ariane Schick, Mitchell Syrop and Robert Rauschenberg all investigate the place of the self as an enabler or disrupter through different frameworks and its effects on our ethos, the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterise us.

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Thursday 19th April: Extra Academy #53 presents Jabulani Maseko at Extra City, Antwerp

Eyes really are the windows to the soul: South-African artist Jabulani Maseko teases us by concealing them from view. What’s left behind are sculptures that paint an enticingly incomplete story for the beholder. Undeniably, his work drips with political references yet blurs the lines of mankind by incorporating an other-worldly element. Treat yourself.

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Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd April: HORS PISTE at LaVallée, Brussels

25 artists, 3 performances and one unforgettable exhibition: LaVallée has brought together an all-star selection of visual artists that cater to art-lovers nationwide. From Julien Poidevin’s multimedia spectacle and Gregory Grincourt’s depiction of anarchy, to plastician Capucine Vandebrouck’s life-size installation, there’s power in numbers.

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Thursday 19th April – Wednesday 13th June: Aki Kuroda at Hangar Art Center, Brussels

Japanese painter Aki Kuroda is renowned for his suggestive silhouettes, yet his latest work give a fuller more expressive glimpse into his fascinating mind. Expect an overlap of polarities between East and West, mythology and the future with his theme cosmogarden. This is a never-before-seen opportunity of his largest exhibition in Belgium yet, including his vibrant unedited pieces from the last couple of years. Not to be missed.

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Thursday 19th April – Saturday 23rd June: Ellen Berkenblit at Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels

American contemporary visual artist Ellen Berkenblit continues to explore the various forms she has been investigating over her 30-year career. Through her unpredictable approach to painting, she presents intimate and seductive worlds, her flat shapes expressing a conjuring of sorts. Defined by her systematic calligraphy her body of work alludes to female nudes, tigers, lions as well as outlines of a witch, with her long neck, hooked nose and bushy lashes. The witch here is an independent, emancipated woman, a figure who defines herself as powerful, studious, and dedicated to her craft. Hence her repeated appearance throughout Berkenblit’s latest series of paintings and drawings.

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Thursday 19th April – Saturday 26th May: Korakrit Arunanondchai at C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G, Brussels

Avant-garde contemporary artist Korakrit Arunanondchai has been making waves with his shocking performances across the globe. Dividing his time between New York and Bangkok, his work reflects the fast-moving colour of our hyper-connected world. Expect the unexpected.

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Thursday 19th April: Christophe Meierhans’ Trial of Money at Kaaitheatre, Brussels

From his composing background, Christophe Meierhans has the unique opportunity of understanding the full picture when it comes to theatrics. The central theme behind his latest work Trials of Money revolves around justice, inviting the audience to become engrossed in a complicated analysis of money, crime and accountability. Featuring a psychologist, an ex-banker and a homeless person, the piece will ask the ever-pressing question, “Will money ever be found guilty?” You’ll have to wait and see.

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Thursday 19th April – Sunday 12th August: Unexchangeable at WIELS, Brussels

Given the disproportionate amount of collectors in Belgium, the lack of dialogue between them and museums is surprising to say the least. Seeking to both highlight and remedy this schism, WIELS puts forward an exhibition which draws on over 70 pieces and whose underlining focus is the artworks’ value. More specifically, the show’s premise is the tipping point in 1989 when artists began tinkering with the paradigm of the artwork’s unique character, exploring notions of pleasure, intellectual stimulation, sensory appreciation and social distinction as integral to any discussion regarding value. And, with this new exhibition, WIELS succeeds once again in proposing a blueprint for the museum of the future. Essential.

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Thursday 19th April: Quiver at Minus One, Ghent

Quiver is all about exploiting the cracks within our current artistic landscape. Expect a multi-sensory voyage from Obsequies’ intimate intimidation of the humble piano to Mathlovsky’s archaic beats, all in the name of chaos. Don’t sleep.

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Thursday 19th April – Saturday 19th May: Bui, Jensen, Lewczuk & Provosty at Maruani Mercier, Brussels

Four Brooklyn-natives across the pond join forces for an awe-inspiring group show at Maruani Mercier. Every taste is accounted for, from Nathalie Provosty’s highly sensual and imaginative paintings to seasoned portraitist Bill Jensen’s examination of the human condition. Need we say more?

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Thursday 19th April: Designing Territorial Metabolism at CIVA, Brussels

Most people consider homeostasis in relation to organic ecosystems, but can we apply this concept of metabolism to urban areas? Designing Territorial Metabolism aims to answer this questions by offering theoretical discourses and student projects covering the metropolises of Barcelona, Brussels and Venice. Two years of intensive research culminates with an inter-European book launch and discussion panel. Education is key.

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Friday 20th – Wednesday 25th April: Justin Morin, Bernard Gigounon + JAP at C5, Brussels

Inspired by Peter Brooks’s radical examination of theatrics in The Empty Space, C12’s brand new art space C5 will do its part by displaying some cutting-edge visual art, from French artist Justin Morin’s texturised wonderland to homegrown talent Bernard Gigounon’s re-interpretation of natural life. Go show some love.

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Friday 20th April – Monday 30th July: Retrospective Fernand Flausch – OEuvres de 1969 à 2013 at La Boverie, Liège

Internationally acclaimed at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1979, and in Liège for his public art installation La Mort de l’automobile in Sart-Tilman, the late Fernand Flausch is a multidisciplinary artist whose work stood the test of time. La Boverie pays tribute to the celebrated artist with a retrospective of his oeuvre from 1969 to 2013. More than six decades of work will be exhibited, from acrylic paints and collages to comic boards, architecture and urbanism projects. Despite the wide-scale exhibition and the amounts of works on display, the underlining thread remains Flausch’s use of colour, with explosive influences at the crossing of pop art, American comics and pop culture.

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Friday 20th April: Zaltan, Orpheu The Wizzard & DJ Athome at C12, Brussels

The Word Radio regular Deep in House has all you need provided for a right start to the weekend, inviting Zaltan Antinote, Orpheu the Wizzard, DJ Athome, and Rick Shiver to C12. Fridays are for dancing.

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Saturday 21st April: Catclub’s Art Edition at QUAY 01, Brussels

For all those who have to recover after a long day of discovering inspiring art, Catclub is more than happy to host you with its official afterparty. Analog Soul, Double Dancer and Cleveland are all waiting for you. Treat yourself.

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Saturday 21st April: We Play House #3 at Bar Helder, Antwerp

The party-cum-label We Play House sets the stage this Saturday for Prosumer aka Achim Brandenburg with his big penchant for house music. Be ready for a night full of good music, dance, and the magic of Prosumer. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 21st April: Rachel Monosov + Lisa Lapierre’s Touched by Light at ThalieLab, Brussels

For centuries Western artists have been inspired by the delights of the East, yet Rachel Monosov and Lisa Lapierre are re-framing India’s creative potential by equipping local children with self-sufficient tools. The result: a powerful framework for untapped story-telling and imaginative expression. A novel approach.

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Saturday 21st April: Canticum Canticorum at Sint-Michielskerk, Antwerp

Political activism articulated through song has long been championed by regular folk. ChampdAction is offering a 21st century version against social curtailment and fear whilst keeping their performance firmly rooted in their historical legacy, by setting the scene in the majestic Antwerp-based church. Sublime.

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Saturday 21st April: Aglaia Konrad’s Il Cretto at Argos, Brussels

To celebrate the finissage of their two current exhibitions and to showcase Aglaia Konrad’s newest film Il Cretto, Argos opens its doors this Saturday for all the cinephiles and art lovers in town. For an inspiring start to your Saturday night.

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Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd April: Festival des Plantes Comestibles at Jardins d’Arthey, Rhisnes

A two-day fest dedicated to, as its name suggest, edible plants and everything surrounding them. Hosted in the magnificent Jardins d’Arthey in Rhisnes, think conferences, concerts, workshops and a bunch of other activities. Bring your family, bring your friends.

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Saturday 21st April: Jules, Infuso Giallo, DJ soFa at Kumiko, Brussels

Between all these inspiring art events, there really is need for a break to clear your mind. Kumiko is the place to be this Saturday night with Jules, the man for the unexpected, Infuso Giallo, who will give you some positive feelings and touch your disco soul, and Brussel’s man DJ soFa. Dive in.

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Saturday 21st April – Wednesday 20th June: Empreintes at La Cité Miroir, Liège

Book lovers rejoice! For the first time ever the libraries of the University of Liège are opening its doors to the public to delve into the world of literature. This is an exhibition not to be missed for everyone who wishes to lose their soul to the big and inspiring world of the written word.

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Sunday 22nd April: Season Closing w/ Magdalena at ON, Brussels

Magdalena is one not to be missed: part of the tech-house label Diynamic Music since its foundation, she also used to run Ego, one of the coolest clubs in Hamburg, before finally going on to become a successful DJ. Her natural fixation on the audience’s needs combined with her music taste is the reason why she’s a familiar face in the Ibiza scene, for instance. For those who don’t want the weekend to end just yet.

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Sunday 22nd April: La croisière toxique at Quai Edouard Van Beneden, Liège

An excursion only for the fearless sea legs: educate yourself on this cruise floating through Liège’s industrial landscape and its rebuilding, in the company of UCL research manager Anne Stelmes and historian Alexis Zimmer. Venture into the Meuse river to discover Liège’s industrial legacy and its story. An uncommon way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

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