30 things to do this weekend in Belgium

Grand museum openings in Redu, New Beat revivals in Destelbergen and back-to-school exhibition openings in Brussels. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th September: Brussels Gallery Weekend 2018 in Brussels

This weekend marks one of the most important weekends in the year for Brussels galleries as they wake up again from a long summer daze. The best of the Belgian bunch will be opening their doors, and you’re in for a treat. This year’s edition is truly speechless: Harlan Levey Projects with T.R Ericsson, the Alexander Calder & Joan Míro show at Galerie la Béraudière, Peter Halley at Maruani Mercier, Rodolphe Janssen’s grand restrospective on Léon Wuidar, Xavier Hufkens and Ruby Sterling, Albert Baronian with Sato Kimitake, or artlead supporting David Horvitz, just to name a few. And is if this weren’t enough, this year’s edition introduces the downtown Vanderborght building as a certified “meeting point” with Generation Brussels. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 6th September 2018: Opening at MUDIA, Redu

This Thursday sees the addition of an exciting new museum to the Belgian cultural landscape, this time in the village of Redu. Holding an impressive collection of masterpieces from the likes of the Italian wonder Véronèse and Swiss legend Giacometti to Belgian masters like Spilliaert, this new museum is sure to see this small book town in the south of Belgium become a must-see attraction for art lovers.

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Thursday 6th September: EM Records Night at Forbidden City, Antwerp

An eclectic night hosted by the Japanese label EM Records as they head over to Antwerp this Thursday. The evening will be host to one of the city’s famous champion of ambient electronica, Lieven Martens Moana, as well as a series of Japanese gems such as Koki Emura, who incidentally will also be making an appearance at this year’s Meakusma festival. Expect the unexpected.

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Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th September: Olivier Goethais’ Nowhere Here Now at BLANCO, Ghent

The studio workspace NUCLEO opens up a new show of the latest creations belonging to Ghent-based Olivier Goethais on Thursday. Being interested in the idea of space and how an object can occupy it, expect to see a succinct study of quirky shapes and motifs.

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Thursday 6th September: Psst Mademoiselle #08 at C12, Brussels

We all know the only way to soothe those back-to-school blues is with a good party. Our favourites at Psst Mademoiselle are putting on another event this Thursday at C12, full of top notch talent with disco duo Furor Exótica and probably one of the best known Brussels-based DJs there is, Soumaya Phéline. Don’t sleep.

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Thursday 6th September – Saturday 20th October: Ben Sledsens’ Two Trees at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp

Antwerp-based Ben Sledsens brings a bright and varied colour palette to Tim Van Laere Gallery. Working in a style that is clearly inspired by the likes of Henri Matisse as well as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, this series of paintings depicts a series of poetic yet personal narratives that originate from Sledsen’s everyday experiences, as well as his knowledge of art history and a range of fictional characters. You have to see it to believe it.

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Thursday 6th – Saturday 29th September: NORMA groupshow at Maison Pelgrims, Brussels

Tucked away in the centre of St Gilles you’ll find Maison Pelgrims, an architectural gem with an incredible interior covered in luscious fabrics and a snazzy glass roofed conservatory. This week sees the group show NORMA using it to its advantage: curated by Maud Salembier from the Belgian curatorial platform LaSpore, and featuring a range of incredible talent by the likes of Martin Belou, Nicolas Bourthoumieux, Aline Bouvy and many more, this event is bound to be a show-stopper.

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Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th September: Ralph Collier’s Peripheral Vision at Tique Art Space, Antwerp

Ralph Collier asks his audience to question the validating nature of the image at Tique Art Space this Thursday, by cleverly and subtly shifting formal elements in his photography. Be challenged.

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Thursday 6th September – Sunday 11th November: Tom Volkaert’s Aggiornamento at Deborah Bowmann, Brussels

Following the back-to-school trend is Deborah Bowmann with Tom Volkaert’s solo show Aggiornamento. While the Antwerp-based artist is probably better known for his eccentric, colourful sculptural works, this vernissage will also see the book launch of Le Minestrone, a collection of Volkaert’s drawings. Go show some love.

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Thursday 6th September – Saturday 13th October: Simon Wald-Lasowski’s (s)he was the picasso of passive aggressive karate at trampoline, Antwerp

A focus on the obsessive materialistic culture of the 21st century makes up the backdrop of the Frenchman Simon Wald-Lasowksi’s new show at trampoline. Expect the wild and the wacky.

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Thursday 6th September – Sunday 30th September: Design September 2018 in Brussels

The back-to-school season marks the annual flagship festival Design September, taking over the capital to become a haven for design enthusiasts. The establishment of this platform allows for a dialogue between members of the public and (inter) national design architects, experts and lovers. This year’s edition, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the biggest vintage design market in the world, reflects upon the innovations made within the global industry in the past few years. For the first time ever, the event will also be expanding into the city’s public downtown space to reach a wider audience. Whether you’re a keen learner attending one of the many lectures, an enthusiast wanting to explore the city’s galleries and exhibition spaces, or looking to get your hands busy (and not so dirty) in an arts and crafts workshop, Design September has plenty of tricks up their sleeve this year. Make sure to also check out our On Design series on some of #ikkoopbelgisch/#jachetebelge‘s participating designers, one of this year’s new features.

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Thursday 6th September – Sunday 6th January 2019: René Daniëls’ Fragments From an Unfinished Novel at WIELS, Brussels

Emerging during the rebirth of figurative and expressive painting, the Eindhoven-born artist René Daniëls used contemporary influences to his advantage, to originally and authentically approach experimentation with pictorial styles in an ethereal and trance-like manner. The repetitive circular paint-brush motions and carefully positioned square, perpendicular motifs make space for his inventive, and by now signature, bowtie shapes portraying an exhibition space in perspective to create an illusion of awareness within a déjà-vu. WIELS’ showcasing of both his renowned and previously unexhibited works explore this phenomenon and how it explains or expands upon the understanding of memory, and the loss of it.

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Thursday 6th September – Saturday 6th October: Joseph Kusendila’s western union at Komplot, Brussels

The Brussels-based Joseph Kusendila makes his debut at the experimental art space Komplot this week. The exhibition is based around the story of a love affair that leaves a woman’s husband desperate for her loyalty. Mystery and mischief.

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Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th September: Art on Paper 2018 at BOZAR, Brussels

Brussels is truly a centre for large exhibition openings this weekend, and it doesn’t end with Design September or Gallery Weekend. Hosted by BOZAR, Art on Paper makes it’s comeback this September featuring a range of adventurous artists from Belgium and across the globe, all dealing with the conventional medium of paper in a modern and exciting manner. With an impressive number of 50 solos shows available this year’s edition is set to be a truly eclectic mix.

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Thursday 6th – Sunday 16th September: Simon Verheylesonne’s Reflections of Origin at LaVallée, Brussels

Kortrijk-born Simon Verheylesonne is one busy bee, having already had his work featured at BOZAR’s Hugo Claus, Con Amore, and is showing no signs of slowing down just yet. Head down on Thursday to see Verheylesonne in a performance alongside Meri Pajunpää and Michael Picknett as well as his series Annunciation – several landscape works that are inspired by archeology and anthropology’s ability to create believable illusions. One to watch.

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Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September: A Performance Affair 2018 at Vanderborght Building, Brussels

For their first exhibition as a collective, A Performance Affair will be infiltrating the Vanderborght building to create a space for a series of performances that all centre around Jeremy Bentham’s notion of the Panopticon, a Foucaultian space design where you’re continuously being watched. Expect a range of performance works from a collection of international artists, including some big names such as Bruce Nauman and Philippe Parreno.

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Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September: Meaksuma 2018 at Alter Schiachtof, Eupen

The remotely unique Meakusma’s charm lies in its commitment to fostering high-voltage community feels. Old favourites and new treasures are brought together for the weekend with Christina Kubisch, Drums Off Chaos and The Word Radio residents Bear Bones, Lay Low to name just a few. Consistently one of the most exciting and qualitative festivals in Europe, right here in Belgium’s Germanophone region. Make sure to check out our special series featuring a small part of this year’s line-up on The Word Radio, too.

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Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September: HORST 2018 at Castle Horst, Holsbeek

With this being its last edition in its current location, the HORST crew have gone all out for the final line-up, putting together a list of absolute blinders: Fett Burger, Bufiman, DMX Krew, DJ Normal 4, DJ Stingray, DJ Sports, Ramzi, Raphael Top-Secret as well as The Word Radio resident Victor de Roo. And, as if this wasn’t enough, the festival’s now been extended to three days. Waving goodbye in style. To get yourself psyched up, check out our interview on HORST’s innovative stage designs with the founders.

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Friday 7th September: Reopening at MTKlüb, Liège

Alongside museums and pop-up centre, this weekend will also see the reopening of one of Liège’s most exciting underground clubs MTKlüb. Featuring their biggest and best resident DJs, this will be a party you won’t want to miss. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 7th – 9th September: Deep in the Woods 2018 at Domaine de Massembre, Namur

While September may signal a return to the working world be in in the office or classroom, this doesn’t mean that the festival season needs to end just yet. Out in the rural and rustic countryside of Domaine de Massembre you’ll find a festival full of fantastic Belgian acts such as Supafly Collective, J Bernardt and The Word Radio favourite Zoe McPherson, this certainly won’t be an ordinary day in the woods.

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Friday 7th September – Saturday 8th December: From strata of memory to layers of rock at ThalieLab, Brussels

In an attempt to bring attention to society’s ever-growing neglect of the natural environment, ThalieLab’s art residency participants RARA – made up of the Taiwanese Rain Wu and German Ralf Pflugfelder – attribute images of man-made structures with a sacred appearance to those of the natural environment. Education is key.

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Saturday 8th September: Atomium Park Festival 2018 at Heysel, Brussels

Now in it’s 60th year, the park beneath the Atomium becomes the space for Deep in Houses‘ annual day party this Saturday. Including the likes of Le Motel, Chris Ferreira and Kafim, there’s no better place to enjoy the weekend. 12 hours of good music and good fun, with access to the Atomium and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum possible too. Go show some love.

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Saturday 8th September – Saturday 3rd November: Harry Gruyaert’s Roots at FIFTY ONE (TOO), Antwerp

Following the impeccable success of his show in FOMU, Harry Gruyaert is set to open up his second solo show. Featuring a selection of exciting photographs in colour in gallery FIFTY ONE and black and white beauties in FIFTY ONE TOO, Roots takes us on a reflective journey on his feelings towards Belgium. From a longing to escape what was an enclosed and harsh environment during his childhood to becoming inspired by its unique features later in life, Gruyaert’s photographic love for his country comes to the fore in his latest show where he captures a decade of life in Belgium between the 70s and 80s. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 8th – Sunday 30th September: KRASJ 2018 in Ninove

Ninove’s art biennial KRASJ makes it’s grand opening this Sunday for it’s fourth edition. Featuring over 60 artists from across the globe, this month-long exhibition of work is sure to keep you busy. And one more reason to be sure to visit is due to its use of the abandoned RTT building, which serves as the central building of the biennial. This building will be renovated after the exhibition is complete, so be sure to catch this event if only to see this building’s impressive interiour before it becomes shut off for good.

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Saturday 8th September: The End of B at Boccaccio, Destelbergen

All good things must come to an end, as was the case with Destelbergen’s legendary Boccaccio – but fear not, as they’ll be reopening their doors for a very special party this Saturday. Featuring some of the best-known resident DJs from 1987 to 1993, this evening of all things New Beat is sure to be one to cherish. A blast from the past.

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Saturday 8th September – Sunday 7th October: Imi Knoebel at Deweer Gallery, Otegem

This Saturday sees this post-war German artist have his third show at Deweer Gallery since the 90s. Expect a selection of vibrant geometric works that mix painting with sculpture and that give off an essence of European avant-masters, from Bauhaus and Mondrian to Malevich. Be challenged.

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Saturday 8th September: Barlok Occupied at Barlok, Brussels

For something a little different than you’re average Saturday night disco, head on down to Barlok for an evening of protest and solidarity through a series of Palestinian electronica stars. Pretty pertinent.

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Saturday 8th – Wednesday 26th September: Opening at TRANSURBAN Urban Art Archive, Antwerp

From the southern village of Redu, we move to the northern city of Antwerp for another exciting grand opening this weekend. Run by the Cologne-based collective artrmx e.V., the TRANSURBAN Urban Art Archive aims to gather information about a range of different cities and the art that occupies them. They’ll be completing a short Antwerp-based three-week residency where, with the help of their visitors, they’ll curate an archive of images and information on the art that infiltrates the city. Get involved.

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Sunday 9th September – Saturday 20th October: Lara Gasparatto & Matthieu Ronsse at Stieglitz19, Antwerp

If you’re searching for something exciting to see before the daily grind begins again in 24 hours, head to Stieglitz19 to see the collaborative exhibition of Lara Gasparatto and Matthieu Ronsse. While Gasparatto’s oeuvre is primarily based of photographic portraits that are almost painterly in their appearance, Ronsse’s painted portraits that thrive on their “unfinished” style act as an interesting counterpart. Two birds, one stone.

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Sunday 9th September – Saturday 10th November: Measurements at Société, Brussels

An extensive collection of artwork goes on display this Sunday with Sociétés’ brand new group show. Working with themes of measurement, the body, space and comparisons, expect to see a variety of approaches applied to the idea of quantification. End the weekend right.

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