Birthdays, exhibitions, fairs and concerts. This weekend in Belgium.

The Word Magazine turns 5, Brussels

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After five years and 25 editions, time is ripe to throw ourselves a little party, get the champagne out and celebrate. What can you expect? Gigs by Vuurwerk and Mountain Bike and the cream of the crop of Belgium’s beat scene on the decks with Dalai Lama Renaissance, Onda Sonora, and Nosedrip; plus the launch of a commemorative photo book and a made-to-measure shelf by Theophile’s Papers showcasing our 25 editions to date. It’s all kicking off at Brussels’ Komplot, and you are invited…

22nd February, 20h00
Komplot, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 295 – 1190 Brussels
Join the event here

Neo Rauch, Brussels

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Internationally renowned German artist Neo Rauch is a leading representative of something called the New Leipzig School, a German-born contemporary painting movement. His puzzling, colourful and captivating creations demonstrate the influence of social realism of communism. They also hint at surrealism, pop art and even comic strips. “My paintings have something vital about them, like an animal, a living thing,” says Rauch. “You don’t have to understand them, just to feel that this creation, to the greatest possible extent, is at peace with itself.” An exhibition of one of today’s most significant painters, no less.

Opening 20th February
Bozar Centre of Fine Arts, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 – 1000 Brussels
www.bozar.be

ROA, Brussels

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ROA is the pseudonym of a Belgian-born graffiti artist who’s quickly becoming known across the globe. His large-scale creations of animals can be found on walls and objects from London to Cambodia and Mexico to Australia, and this is his first solo exhibition in his native country. I think ROA’s work at the moment is really pushing it. What’s interesting…is how it interacts with the space it’s in; he’s done certain pieces where animals have been wrapped down the side of buildings,” London gallery owner Charles Edwards recently told the Guardian. An absolute must for all street art lovers.

Opening 21st February, 18h00
Bodson Emelinckx, Rue de Henninstraat 70 – 1050 Brussels
www.bodson-emelinckx.com

Silio Durt, Brussels

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Silio Durt is a young Brussels-based artist obsessed with bright colours and chaos, and whose work is informed by in-depth explorations of ‘muscle philosophy’. Never one to take himself or the world too seriously, his work is reminiscent of children’s drawings and often features explosions of colours, shapes and strange characters. His Joyful Mongoloid solo show will feature a selection of paintings, drawings, plastic pearl compositions, collages and his trademark “Grasloriages”, in which he defaces children’s colouring books.

Opening 22nd February, 18h00
Centre Culturel Jacques Franck, Chaussée de Waterloo 94 Waterloosesteenweg – 1060 Brussels

www.lejaquesfranck.be

Affordable Art Fair, Brussels

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For four days this weekend, art is truly affordable. The Affordable Art Fair features thousands of paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs, all priced between €50 and €5000. Artworks include pieces by young up-and-comers but also international big shots, with galleries from all over the world participating. “It is a fair that says ‘art is for everyone’ and really means it,” writes The Huffington Post. An endorsement, well-earned.

From 21st to 24th February
Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c Havenlaan – 1000 Brussels
www.affordableartfair.com/brussels

Stephen Felton, Brussels

The exhibition ‘Breakin’ Windows’ is a showcase of works by American artist Stephen Felton. His minimalistic paintings are sober, pragmatic and lack anything that has the capacity to distract the viewer, as Felton carefully removes the unnecessary.  “I was looking at all of this amazing art that is of course based mostly on the ideals of religion. I knew then that I wanted to be able to depict ideas. That’s when I came up with this show, which is more about an action than an image in itself,” says the artist.

Opening 21st February, 18h00
Elaine Levy Project, Rue Fourmoisstraat 9 – 1050 Bruxelles
www.elainelevyproject.com

Evariste Richer and Susan Collis, Brussels

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Messen De Clercq is now hosting a new series of artworks by Paris-based artist Evariste Richer, pieces that all refer to his interest in geology, astronomy and geography. Also on show are pieces by American artist James Lee Byars, whose performances and installations have been provoking audiences in the same manner as infant terrible Joseph Beuys. They’re joined by Susan Collis who focuses on the banalities that constitute the everyday.

Opening 22nd February
Meessen De Clercq, Rue de l’Abbaye 2a Abdijstraat – 1000 Brussels
www.meessendeclercq.be

Weekend de film sur l’art, Brussels

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Filming art is an art form and has almost become a genre in itself. Brussels’ Cinematek is now dedicating an entire weekend to the fascinating subject; and will be showing seven films selected by the jury of Montréal’s Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). On the programme are movies about writers like Romain Gary to painters like Frida Kahlo, among others.

From 22nd February to 24th February
Cinematek Flagey, Place Sainte Croix – 1050 Bruxelles
www.cinematek.be

Soldout album release party

Belgian electro rock outfit Soldout, interviewed here for our Pink Album, are releasing their hotly anticipated new album ‘More’. To mark the occasion, they’ll be throwing a monster party at Brussels’s Potemkine, with DJ sets by themselves, of course, as well as some of their personal favourites. And get there early, ‘cos there’s only a limited number of CDs up for grabs…

21st February, 21h00
Potemkine, Avenue de la porte de Hal 2 Hallepoortlaan – 1060 Brussels
www.potemkine.be
 

Our Party, Brussels

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Brussels’ DJ duo Onda Sonora have quite a laundry list of commitments this weekend. Not only are they playing at The Word Magazine’s fifth birthday shindig on Friday, they’ll also be behind the decks at Our Party on Saturday. For this year’s first edition, the Brussels-based twosome, who recently recorded an exclusive mix for us, have invited Martin Iveson a.k.a. Atjazz as their very special guest. “He’s been a favourite of ours since the late 90s when he came to our attention with slightly off-centre yet very soulful productions on Mantis recordings. More than a decade later and he’s still making quality music we love to dance to,” they say.

23rd February, 22h00
BRONKS Jeugdtheater, Varkensmarkt 15-17 Rue Du Marché Aux Porcs – 1000 Brussel
www.bronks.be

Notes on Neo-Camp, Antwerp

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Chris Sharp is putting on an eclectic group show that brings together 14 contemporary artists, mainly from New York and London. The name ‘Notes on Neo-Camp’ refers to an article written by the show’s curator: Camp + Dandyism = Neo-Camp. Works on offer include paintings and sculptures by Daniel Sinsel, captivating paintings by Ella Kruglyanska and prints by Matthew Brannon, whose art, according to Frieze Magazine, ‘lives on the edge’.

Opening 24th February, 16h30
Office Baroque Gallery, Lange Kievitstraat 48 – 2018 Antwerpen
www.officebaroque.com

Untitled! 6th Birthday, Antwerp

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After six succulent years of beats, Untitled! is celebrating with a bang in the place it all began, Antwerp’s Trix Club. Together with their buddies from Dub Police, they’ll be putting on an impressive line-up that includes Caspa, Trolley Snatcha, The Others and of course the usual Untitled! residents. Happy birthday, beat monsters…

22nd February, 22h00
Trix, Noordersingel 28-30 – 2140 Borgerhout, Antwerp
www.trixonline.be

James Chance, Antwerp

“New York No Wavers that liked to push music, and in particular saxophones, to breaking point,” says NME on James Chance and the Contortions, and this weekend you can experience them yourself on stage in Antwerp. The legendary Chance, who has been making music since the 70s with a number of groups, is a key figure of No Wave and gets much praise for his efforts in combining the genre with soul and punk…

23rd February, 22h00
Petrol, d’Herbouvillekaai 25 – 2020 Antwerp

Cairopolis, Ghent

Harry Gruyaert

Harry Gruyaert

For our Grey Album’s photography special, Belgian Magnum photographer Harry Gruyaert nominated youngster Bieke Depoorter as his favorite Belgian newbie. Now the pair are getting together for an exhibition, and they’ll be joined by fellow photographers Filip Claus and Zaza Bertrand. ‘Caïropolis’ explores life in Egypt after the revolution in 2011, and focuses on the personal stories that emerged from the ongoing social uprising.

Opening 21st February, 19h00
Kunsthal Sint-Pietersabdij, Sint-Pietersplein 9 – 9000 Ghent
www.sintpietersabdijgent.be

Stief Desmet, Ghent

The solo exhibition ‘Hunt’ by Belgian artist Stief Desmet features a selection of paintings and sculptures in which the artist attempts to shape stories using recuperated, deconstructed and reconstructed images. His work straddles two worlds: the urban everyday and escapism into nature. Fascinating.

Opening 22nd February, 
Galerie Fortlaan 17, Fortlaan 17 –  9000 Ghent
www.fortlaan17.com