American Dreams and Pink Screens. This weekend in Belgium.

Roe Ethridge and Zin Taylor, Brussels

This exhibition unites two rather different artists: renowned photographer Roe Ethridge and visual artist Zin Taylor, who uses a range of different mediums from sculptural installations to animations or drawings. Whilst Ethridge’s images “circulate in the worlds of fashion, commercial and art photography“, Taylor is a kind of narrator of forms, breathing life into objects and exploring things through their shape and materiality. For La Loge, both artists entered a dialogue between their works, creating a fascinating conversation between two quite divergent artistic minds.

Opening 16th November
La Loge, Rue de l’Ermitage 86 Kluisstraat – 1050 Brussels

California, Brussels

Group exhibition ‘California’ unites the work of some of today’s most important contemporary artists, from American-born painter Ed Ruscha (you might have seen his take on the famous Hollywood sign or his portrayals of typical American gas stations) to John Baldessari, also California-based and dubbed the “the grandfather of conceptual painting” by the Guardian, amongst others. The eclectic expo uniting sculptures, paintings, drawings and photography explores the myth of Californa as the last frontier of the American Dream, its role in popular culture and its relationship to consumerism. Fascinating interpretations of America’s cultural and historical identity by Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelly, Sterling Ruby and many more. Art buffs, roll up.

Until 3rd March
Charles Riva Collection, Rue de la Concordestraat 21 – 1050 Brussels

Americana, Brussels

Chasing the American dream – or what’s left of it – is the theme not only of Charles Riva’s California expo this weekend, but also of Americana, a captivating photography exhibition in Brussels’ Box Galerie. Roads leading to infinity, desolate motels and lost gas stations, a blues musician tuning his guitar, the vast beauty of the Grand Canyon… all captured by photographers from Marina Cox and Michael Kenna to Takeshi Shikama and Larry Fink, who recently told The New York Times that to him, photography was a ‘transformation of desire’.

Box Galerie, Rue du Mail 88 Maliestraat, 1050 Brussels
Opening 16th November

Thomas Bernardet, Brussels

French artist Thomas Bernardet, who lives and works in Brussels, is a photographer and much more. He treats his photos of objects, slogans, situations and places as working documents, storing them for several years and only taking them out again when he has become sufficiently detached from them. Then, the artist manipulates and modifies the images, creating collages, merging them with drawings, or turning them upside down. “I like the story in which Kandinsky describes how one of his paintings got turned upside down in his studio and became a key element in his progress towards abstraction”, he says.

Opening 17th November
MOT International, Rue Vandenbrandenstraat 1, 1000 Brussels

Constellation of Forms &  Processes, Brussels

An exhibition that creates room for discussion, ‘Constellation of Forms and Processes’ seeks out relationships between the works of what appear to be, at first glance, three very different artists: Manuel Burgener, Lorna Macintyre, and Freek Wambacq. What they all have in common is a certain attitude and methodology, the polymorphic quality of their work and the questioning of the artistic practice such as, for example, the relationship between the artist and his creation or the definition of what makes a work of art.

Opening 17th November
Galerie Catherine Bastide, Rue Vandenbrandenstraat 1 – 1000 Brussels

Recorders, Brussels

Following on from their first single ‘Someone Else’s Memory’ that surfed the radio waves earlier this year, Belgian foursome Recorders are back with their new song ‘Link’. Tonight they’re taking a break from working on their first album release, planned for Spring 2013 (and for which they teamed up with no other than LA star producer Tony Hoffer), and are bringing their energetic electro-infused indie rock-pop to Brussels’ Café Central. For fans of MGMT or M83.

15th November
Café Central, Rue Borgvalstraat 14 – 1000 Brussels

Uphigh Collective, Brussels

In an interview with The Word earlier this year, Leuven-based Uphigh Collective talked about the challenge of transforming from bedroom producers into stage performers. Now the group, whose sound is located somewhere between future soul and electronica, has gone on an EP release tour and this weekend they’re stopping in Brussels’ Bonnefooi, the perfect opportunity to see for yourself whether they’ve mastered the challenge. After the gig, Onda Sonora, the Dj project of Word music columnist Bart Sibiel and Mezzdub (listen to his exclusive Word mix here) will set the dancefloor on fire.

15th November
Bonnefooi, Rue des Pierres 8 Steenstraat – 1000 Brussels

Kaiser Chiefs at Indie Club, Brussels

Brussels’ Indie Club, a party that has been injecting some much-needed rock tunes into the capital’s dancefloors these past years, is celebrating its 4th birthday this weekend with a bang: none other than UK rockers Kaiser Chiefs, who are more used to the sound of packed stadiums singing along to anthems like ‘Ruby’ and ‘Everyday I love you less and less’, will be behind the decks of The Wood this Friday playing their favorite indie tunes. We predict a riot.

16th November
The Wood, Avenue de Flore 3 Floralaan – 1000 Brussels

Beat Bang, Brussels

A new gadget for music nerds: Beat Bang is an app for exploring electronic music from 1988 until today, and it’s made it into The Guardian’s 10 Best Android apps of the week. The application designed for smartphones and tablets is a mobile multimedia library with the lowdown on everything from industrial techno to dance music. David Mennessier and Benoît Deuxant are giving an introduction into the fascinating subject this weekend, and showing how the evolution of music can be closely linked to socio-economic contexts, especially when it comes to electronic music of the last 25 years.

16th November
Passage 44, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 44 Kruidtuinlaan – 1000 Brussels

Violence Conjugale, Brussels

Violence Conjugale, the French two-piece on a mission to take you on a trip down memory lane – to the 80s, to be precise – are presenting their first record on Born Bad Records in Brussels’ Madame Moustache this weekend. “This is not a disc but a historic reconstitution, a costume film, the beginning of the 80s in all their reality”, French music mag Inrocks writes. A cold, dark and pulsating mix of minimal, new wave and punk – fans of Can or Depeche Mode take note.

16th November
Madame Moustache, Quai au Bois à Bruler 5 Brandhoutkaai – 1000 Brussels

Zombie Zombie, Brussels

For their most recent release “Rituels d’un nouveau monde” on Versatile RecordsFrench duo Zombie Zombie have teamed up with stellar producer, Joakim. This weekend, Etienne Jaumet and Cosmic Neman are coming to Brussels’ Mr Wong to present this latest release, which includes the single ‘Illuminations’ and is, according to music gurus Pitchfork, a “loopy, hypnotic synth work”. After the gig, Djs Marty, Tubescreamer and Stel-R have promised to keep the party going through the night.

17th November
Mr Wong, Rue de la Vierge Noire 10 Zwarte Lievevrouwstraat – 1000 Brussels

Second Life Festival, Brussels

This weekend’s Second Life festival is a paradise for shopping addicts and vintage lovers that showcases young, contemporary Belgian artists, including exhibitions of photographers, graphic designers and visual artists. Music, food and drinks are provided too and silent movies will even be projected, like Alix Aminian’s ‘Le Passager’. And it’s all for free.

17th November
La Tentation, Rue de Laeken 28 Lakensestraat – 1000 Brussels

Pink Screens, Brussels

This weekend is proud to announce the 11th edition of film festival Pink Screens, a celebration of otherness and a quest for tolerance and open-mindedness that focusses on queer cinema that is experimental, innovative and subversive. The 10-day movie bash, a result of a collaboration between Genres d’à Côté and Cinéma Nova, explores gender, sexualities and identity crises. See the full programme here.

Until 17th November

Neil Campbell and Alexandre Da Cunha, Antwerp

NY Magazine describes the work of Canadian artist Neil Campbell as a “pitch-perfect way of blending architecture, placement on the wall, size, and edges” that produces “retinal and phenomenological power.”  By painting geometric forms and patterns directly onto the wall, the artist transforms the gallery’s interior, playing with the perception of space and the perspective of the viewer. His creations are juxtaposed with the work of Brazilian artist Alexandre Da Cunha, which “generates sparks of beauty with the least-expected materials: toilet plungers, salad bowls, truck tires.” Da Cunha is interested in everyday materials and objects that he revisits with methods of re-contextualisation and appropriation, giving them a new meaning.

Until 8th December
Office Baroque Gallery, Lange Kievitstraat 48 – 2018 Antwerpen

Digitalism, Ghent

German electro house outfit Digitalism rose to stardom in 2007 with their album ‘Idealism’and have since then continued to churn out worthy remixes of big wigs like Daft Punk, Klaxons and The Cure. Last year saw them release a new record, ‘I Love You Forever, Dude’, described by Pitchfork as a “super-compressed, synth noise” album. If you missed them at Pukkelpop or I Love Techno, then you won’t want to miss their next energetic liveshow in Ghent’s Vooruit.

15th November
Vooruit, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23 – 9000 Ghent

Julie Scheurweghs, Knokke

If you’re at the seaside this weekend for a beach-side stroll, we recommend a stop at Knokke’s SEAS where Belgian rising talent Julie Scheurweghs has scored the second solo exhibition of her blossoming career. With ‘Mark My Words’, a showcase of her typical pure and elegant visual language, the photographer explores the need to sell yourself as an artist: “You have to write applications all the time and explain your work to people. Out of my frustration in being so bad at writing, I started off with performances of myself wearing a sandwich board saying I am looking for jobs, and made images of these performances”, she says.

Opening 18th November
SEAS, Meerlaan 32 – 8300 Knokke-Heist