The weekend in Belgium 21.06

Narafi Foto Expo, Brussels

Rise and shine: Check out the work of Belgium’s finest young photographers at this exhibition of Brussels’ Narafi photography school, an academy that counts among its ranks such promising stars as Adriaan Hauwaert and Jef Claes – a couple of boy geniuses who might’ve already caught your attention with their series on transformed spaces and new beginnings here at The Word. A great day out for talent scouts.

Until 24th June
Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c Havenlaan  – 1000 Brussels
www.narafi.be

Un-Scene II, Brussels

Following up on the first edition of Un-Scene that took place back in 2008, Wiels is repeating its effort to promote some of Belgium’s freshest and most promising artistic talent, touching on all known genres, from performance art to videos, painting, sculptures and photography. Unscene II gives whippersnappers a chance to shine, and visitors an opportunity to discover a buzzing Belgian art scene as well as (what might turn out to be) some of its best kept secrets.

From 22nd June to 26th August
Wiels, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354 – 1190 Brussels
www.wiels.org

Behind the Curtain, Brussels

The photo booth has experienced quite a revival in recent years, from the vintage booths found all over Berlin with their enormous waiting lines, to the part they played in the award-winning movie Amélie Poulin. The exhibition “Behind the Curtain – the Aesthetics of the Photobooth” by Lausanne’s Musée de l’Elysée, explores the influence of the photo booth on the artistic community, from its beginnings to the present day, uniting more than 600 artworks from across genres. The 60 international artists featured range from pop art icon Andy Warhol to prominent British contemporary artist Gillian Wearing. Unmissable.

Until 19th August
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat – 1000 Brussels
www.botanique.be

Sense of Place, Brussels 

Sense of Place” is a response to our environment and to the distinctive characteristics that give places their souls, making them unique and special to us. The images belonging to the exhibition of the same name at Brussels’ Bozar play with this spirit, with the connection between humanity and our environment while revelling in the aesthetics of landscape in contemporary European photography. This year’s major exhibition the ’Summer of Photography’ assembles some 160 works by 40 photographers, from young promising artists to internationally celebrated stars, including high-profile names like Andreas Gursky, Gina Glover and Elina Brotherus. Paying tribute to the environment while observing the connection between nature and urbanity, the images show how social identities have been shaped by places.

Until 18th September
Bozar Centre of Fine Arts, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 – 1000 Brussels
www.bozar.be

Jeff Ladouceur, Brussels

Born in Canada but living and working in New York, Jeff Ladouceur is mostly known for his otherworldly pen-and-ink drawings that evoke a poetic and strange world that’s born of a truly unlimited imagination. Brussels’ Twig gallery is now honouring the artist with a solo exhibition that involves a dizzying trip through a bizarre universe packed with weird shapes and mystical beings. Fascinating.

Until 20th July
Twig Gallery, Rue Tenboschstraat 74 – 1050 Brussels
www.twiggallery.com

Landscapes speak the same language, Brussels

With a nod to German cult director Wim Wenders’ ‘Lisbon Story’, this exhibition, a collaboration between Budapest’s House of Photography and Brussels’ Balassi Institute, revolves around the theme of landscape art, with a special focus on four contemporary Hungarian photographers: Sári Ember, Viola Fátyol, Gábor Arion Kudász and Ábel Szalontai. Grab your chance to delve into the art scene of a country that most of us have probably yet to explore.

Until 10th September
Institut Balassi, Rue Treurenbergstraat 10 – 1000 Brussels
www.brusszel.balassiintezet.hu

Thee Oh Sees, Brussels

Californian five-piece Thee Oh Sees are back with a new album, called Putrifiers II, yet another deliciously raw and melodic blend of garage rock, post-punk, psychedelia and avant-garde rock. This time round they’re aiming for an altogether softer sound (band leader Dwyer cites the Velvet Undergound and The Zombies as major influences), though Thee Oh Sees are best known for their hot and sweaty live shows – so get ready for some serious fun.

21st June
VK, Rue de L’Ecole 76 Schoolstraat – 1080 Brussels
www.vkconcerts.be

Catclub, Brussels

It’s that time again, folks. This weekend sees the return of our beloved Catclub nights, and this time the Wide Gallery is offering up a feast featuring Spanish producer Pional, Berlin-based duo Coma (signed to cult label Kompakt) as well as the usual suspects Lady Jane, Antilope and Ben. You have been warned – it’s gonna be wild.

23rd June
Wide Gallery, Wide White Space, Gerijstraat 11 – 1190 Brussels
www.catclub.be

From here on, Antwerp

In the context of the “Summer of Photography,” the group show “From Here On” broaches the issue of the future of photography, raising questions about much- debated topics like authorship, copyright and privacy. Naturally, the exhibition also touches upon the question of the “death” of traditional photography, with a number of international artists shedding a new light on this changing art form by working with the plethora of digital images from the internet. While British artist Mishka Henner’s images serve as a social documentary of sorts, derived from photos originally intended for another purpose, American Penelope Umbrico instead uses photo-share websites like Flickr for inspiration. Fellow American Doug Rickard works with a similar concept: He reproduces images from Google Street View in an attempt to portray a marginalised sector of American society.

From 22nd June to 30th September
FoMu, Waalsekaai 47 – 2000 Antwerp
www.fotomuseum.be

The Escape, Ghent

Memymom, the Brussels-based photography tag team we profiled in a series on Belgian duos that appeared on these pages a while ago, are currently exhibiting some of their most recent work in Ghent’s Croxhapox gallery – an exploration of their typical dreamy and quirky style. With ‘The Escape’ Marilène Coolens (58) and Lisa De Boeck (27) explore the mind of a woman whose life has become pure fiction, fulfilling a need to escape from the daily grind. Captivating.

Until 6th July
Croxhapox, Lucas Munichstraat 76/82 – 9000 Ghent
www.croxhapox.org

Sol LeWitt, Leuven

In what will be the most extensive show of American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s work in Belgium to date, Leuven’s M Museum is putting on a display of 20 monumental wall drawings by this master of minimalism. As with all his exhibitions, the drawings are etched directly onto the walls of the venue according to the artist’s strict instructions… and this time, LeWitt Studio’s drafters will be assisted by local artists, as well as students from a number of Belgian art schools.

From 21st June to 14th October
M Museum Leuven, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28 – 3000 Leuven
www.mleuven.be