15 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Happy faces in Ghent, the contemporary art renaissance in Brussels, and late-night shindigs in Antwerp. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 14th– Tuesday 19th December: Are You Series? #5 at BOZAR Brussels

Before the weekend fun begins, brace yourselves for the fifth edition of Are You Series?, BOZAR’s international TV series festival, offering a varied line-up surrounding the topic of existential crises and dystopic realities. That means nervous breakdowns, haunted doctors, wanna-be porn stars, exploited handmaids – just to name a few. And all screenings are free of course, and always in the presence of industry hotshots. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 14th December – Saturday 16th December: Festival van de Gelijkheid 2017 at Vooruit, Ghent

December means Curieus Gent’s yearly, socially conscious Festival van de Gelijkheid. Held at Vooruit (as well as other venues, like the closing party at NEST), the weekend-long festival has invtied a hefty number of forward-thinking speakers to discuss and celebrate diversity and interculturality. God bless.

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Thursday 14th December: Oriol Vilanova: Sunsets from… at artlead SALON, Brussels

Departing from the digital and finally physically materialised, artlead.net will inaugurate its first salon with the installation Sunsets From…, a visual project in play since 2012 by the Brussels-based Spanish artist Oriol Vilanova. His obsession centres around postcards, of which a hefty part of his impressive 40,000-strong collection will be put on display. Cosy up to sunset sights in this cold weather.

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Thursday 14th December: It at CINEMATEK, Brussels

A continuation into their research on the symbol of the eclipse, Brussels’ iconic film archive centre CINEMATEK brings you a Belgian avant-premiere of It. A collaboration between local artists Anouk De Clercq and Tom Callemin, this fresh audio-visual exploration on light and darkness is sure to be mind-blowing.

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Friday 15th December: Symposium on European art / Renaissance launch at BOZAR, Brussels

With their ever-critical eyes on the near future, 2019 will see the realisation of a brand new, multi-partner arts festival aptly titled Renaissance. Set in Belgium’s – and incidentally Europe’s – capitol, the large-scale perennial arts festival is a joint effort between BOZAR, CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Studio Luc Tuymans and WIELS. Along with their public launch of the new artistic and discursive platform, BOZAR will also be hosting an open and international symposium on what it actually means to set up such large-scale art infrastructures. Timely and pertinent.

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Friday 15th December: SHIKIMIKI at MEATPACK, Antwerp

Antwerp’s been blessed with a new venue, and MEATPACK are not missing a beat this winter season. The guys behind Plein Publiek and Mercado have converted a massive reconverted warehouse into a new setting for art, music, food and nightlife – and they’ve got all these covered with their disco and funk soirée. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 15th December: EXIT 54 at RECYCLART, Brussels

Underground grunge in the capitol’s beloved industrial lair Recyclart: welcome an explosive line-up with the likes of the Frontal crew, Perron Zes, Soumaya Phéline b2b Sagat, and Simon Hold. Don’t forget to bring your own t-shirts too, as they’ve brought back out their silk-screen printer.

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Friday 15th December: MIND OVER MTTR at Het Bos, Antwerp

We never seem to get enough of MIND OVER MTTR – they’re back in town for their third magical shindig, this time intent on bringing to Het Bos some festive cheers along the way. Get your gladrags on.

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Friday 15th December: Kanikosen #00 w/ P Relief at Kumiko, Brussels

Local rascals Le Pacifique Records has a brand new project lined up for the coming months: pro bono soirées hosted at Kumiko. First one up to bat is Cali’s P Relief, co-founder of P&D Records. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 16th December – Sunday 12th August: Een gesprek tussen collecties uit Kinshasa & Oostende at Mu.ZEE, Ostende

In light of a strong ten year journey, Ostend’s Mu.ZEE are finally ready to reveal their Belgian artworks alongside a private Kinshasa collection, lent on loan by a passionate collector. Refraining from uttering grand statements at the risk of making sweeping statements, Mu.ZEE is instead opting for constructive dialogue and earnest reflection with different partners from the two historically linked states. Musical duties are handled by Bart Cattaert, the man behind the Brussels-based label Planet Ilunga, specialising in post-independence Congolose music. A must-see.

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Saturday 16th December: Txt, Is Not Written Plain #1 / The Big Conversation on Feminism at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Double-bill Saturday at Beursschouwburg: the very vocal Hana Miletić has been steadily working with the open arts centre Globe Aroma this past year, and they’re ready to present their exciting results. In the span of an hour, the panel will discuss their work blurring the boundaries between text and textiles, and the poignant power behind collaborative labour. They’ll then be joining a team of critical thinkers mediating The Big Conversation on Feminism: group discussions on its crucial necessity today. Expect the likes of Ida Dequeecker, members of Black Speaks Back and Inne Eysermans. Not to be missed.

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Saturday 16th December: Luc Tuymans – Isabel, Diorama, Scramble, Twenty Seventeen at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Borgerhout‘s cutting edge contemporary art gallery Zeno X provides a behind-the-scenes look into the artistic processes of Luc Tuymans: four colour etchings and iPhone snaps fixate the audience on the workings of some of his iconic paintings, from start to finish. Collected in a folder, the editions are made available alongside an exclusive viewing of the grand painting Scramble. A chance to see the makings of a master.

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Saturday 16th December: Basic Moves Basement Benefit in Brussels

Brussels’ record front Basic Moves appreciate the importance of local support, hence an exclusive benefit this Saturday: secret locations, The Word favourite-strong line-up (Walrus, Deg, Topha), and some good ole’ fashioned basement fun. Go show some love.

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Saturday 16th December: 1 Year Morbus Gravis at Ampere, Antwerp

An all-night birthday bash to celebrate one year since the founding of Antwerp’s “music space” Morbus Gravis. And they’re doing things right with a damn fine line-up: live sets from Elko B., O Yuki Conjugate, Milan W., and Stroom‘s very own Nosedrip.  Three cheers.

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Sunday 17th December – Sunday 21st January: Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver & Guy Rombouts – I am (also) quantum at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent

The Tokyo-based Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver touches down in Ghent for a month-long exhibition, I Am (Also) Quantum. Staying true to his background in philosophy, the Japanese post-war artist consistently ponders on the grander questions of life through performances, thought-provoking commentaries and illustrative forms. The latter in particular is very much central to the exhibition: heavily inspired by Japanese calligraphy and Esoteric Buddhism, Azuchi Gulliver offers his personal and artistic take on quantum theory and the notion of emptiness. Joining him is Geel’s Guy Rombouts, most noted for his Drieletterwoordenboek series of work created with his late partner Monica Droste. Stemming from his training in print typography, Rombouts goes even further in his reconceptualisations of the alphabet. End the weekend right.

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