The weekend in Belgium 17.05

Running with Rocky, Brussels

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward.” This quote, by all American hero-philosopher Rocky Balboa serves as a backdrop to this exhibition that features American artists Zoe Strauss, Abner Preis, Jordan Seiler and the Netherlands’ Jeroen Jongeleen. Four refreshing participatory projects, showcased through videos, photographs and artifacts that are compelling and playful while digging up the undergrowth of certain social phenomena.

Until 10th June
Harlan Levey projects, Rue Leon Lepagestraat 37 – 1000 Brussels
www.hl-projects.com

Anne de Gelas, Brussels

Brussels-based photographer Anne De Gelas is one to take her art very personally, exploring emotions and intrinsically human experiences like mourning and loss, love and family. Her series “And what if there’s nothing more?” is nostalgic, alluring and dreamy, a collage of emotions blended together in a mingle-mangle of photographs, writings and drawings.

Until 10th June
Contretype, Avenue de la Jonction 1 Verbindingslaan -1060 Brussels
www.contretype.org

Wangechi Mutu, Brussels

Born in Kenya and based in Brooklyn, Wangechi Mutu is known for her colourful, entrancing and fantastical art that fuses the human form with organic and surreal elements. Her watercolours and collages often evolve around the theme of the female body whilst also tackling more heavy-handed subjects such as colonial history, cultural heritage and sexual repression. The exhibition will feature fifteen works from Mutu’s blackthrones series, haunting sculptures that, just like with her two-dimensional work, repurpose familiar objects in an imaginative way.

Until 7th July
Gladstone Gallery, Rue du Grand Cerf 12 Grotehertstraat – 1000 Brussels
www.gladstonegallery.com

Canvascollectie / Collection RTBF, Brussels

With the goal of enhancing the visibility of a wide variety of contemporary art in Belgium, public TV channels RTBF and VRT are collaborating with the Flemish and French communities, as well as a handful of other cultural partners, to create yet another eclectic exhibition at the Bozar for both young and established artists. Everyone is allowed to submit one artpiece, and a renowned jury that includes members from Belgian institutions like Wiels and SMAK will then be selecting the ones to go in the show. Go and see for yourself: Mixing professional with amateur does work.

Until 10th June
Bozar Centre of Fine Arts, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 – 1000 Brussels
www.bozar.be

King Krule, Brussels

He’s only 17 and already has a name change under his belt: King Krule, a skinny, slightly awkward-looking little redhead, formerly known as Zoo Kid, released a self-titled EP under his new moniker on True Panther last year. The record has earned the British singer/ songwriter rave reviews. Using a rich, sensitive voice accompanied by echoing guitars, he creates a captivating, synth-noir sound that’s a bit outlandish but certainly mesmerising. Essential.

18th May
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat – 1000 Brussels
www.botanique.be

Bass Drum of Death+Kabul Golf Club, Brussels

American garage rockers Bass Drum of Death, whose explosive brand of punk rock reminds us of a kind of untamed version of The Black Keys or the White Stripes, and who are signed to Fat Possum Records, will play Brussels this weekend with a little help on the side from Belgian rock freaks Kabul Golf Club. We have five pairs of tickets to give away for their gig at L’Ancienne Belgique this Sunday, 20th May. All you need to do is share our Facebook fan page and send a screenshot of it to wewrite@thewordmagazine.be with ‘Bass Drum of Death’ in the subject line. The first five readers to do so will get their names + 1 added to the guest list. 

20th May
Ancienne Belgique, Avenue Anspach 10 Anspachlaan – 1000 Brussels
www.abconcerts.be

Frederik Heyman, Antwerp

Frederik Heyman is a young photographer from Antwerp who has already worked for the big-shots: Zoo magazine, Vogue Japan, designer Henrik Vibskov and fashion brand Cheap Monday have all had his once-over. His playful imagery blends elements of photography, staging and graphic design to create surreal, colourful, and sometimes disturbing-but-carefully-constructed sceneries. Accordingly, Heyman’s set building can take up to two weeks for a single image. Nice and surprising.

From 17th May to 30th June
Base-Alpha Gallery, Kattenberg 12 – 2140 Antwerp
www.basealphagallery.com

(It) Works on Paper, Ghent

Ghent’s slowly-but-surely growing art gallery scene gets a new member this weekend with the vernissage and opening exhibition of the freshly-inaugurated Kristof De Clercq Gallery, where there’ll be a feature of multifaceted works from Dutch artist Ronald Noorman, German-born Thomas Müller, Belgian artist Robin Vermeersch and a handful of others.

Opening 19th May, 15h00-18h00
Exhibition runs until 16th September
Kristof De Clercq Gallery, Tichelrei 82 – 9000 Ghent
www.kristofdeclercq.com

TRACK, Ghent

Curated by the artistic director of Ghent’s SMAK museum and the curator of Zurich’s KunsthausTRACK is a project that takes art outside of its natural habitat – the museum – and brings it to the streets. This large-scale, city-wide exhibition sees thirty international artists invited to participate in creating art in the context of location, taking local architecture, sociography and infrastructure into account. The artists approach some of the big issues of our time, from ageing to migration to religion, giving us the perfect excuse to check out Ghent anew and to experience art in a totally new locale.

From 12th May to 16th September
All over Ghent
www.track.be

Between the Lines, Ghent

This group exhibition, organised by experimental art center Croxhapox, unites works by four photographers whose work examines themes like gender, identity and ‘being different’. French photographer Tiane Doan Na Champassak, and Belgians Max Pinckers, Quinten De Bruyn and Marc De Clercq all reveal their own personal interpretations of the theme in an intimate and captivating way. The project has even brought them as far away as Thailand and India, where they used a kind and gentle eye to portray the country’s transsexuals, the so-called “third gender”.

From 12th May to 10th June
Croxhapox, Lucas Munichstraat 76/82 – 9000 Ghent
www.croxhapox.org