20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Snapshots of the Middle East in Brussels, electro-mania in Charleroi and artist blind dates in Ghent. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January: Bridges, East of the West Film Festival at BOZAR, Brussels

An explosion of pent-up creativity from ex-Soviet satellite states: BOZAR‘s third annual film festival aims to spotlight film-makers let loose after a tough 20th century. From epic tales of star-crossed lovers to a striking psychological thriller. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 18th January: Lorenzo Senni + Torus at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Trance-lovers rejoice! Co-hosted by Subbacultcha, Beursschouwburg‘s lined up a fine line of DJs to sink your teeth into. As always, the picturesque venue speaks for itself. Don’t sleep.

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Thursday 18th January – Sunday 25th February: Nahum Tavet – Islands and Objects at Kristof de Clercq Gallery, Antwerp

Israeli-born heavy-hitting sculptor, Nahum Tavet, makes his Belgian debut. Islands and Objects forces its audiences to re-evaluate their everyday objects, from mixed-medium and large scale extravagance. You have to see it to believe it.

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Thursday 18th January – Saturday 17th March: Betty Tompkins – Pussy at Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels

Pussy features the magnificent NSFW-visuals Tompkins is renowned for. If you’ve yet to have the pleasure of Tompkins’ graphic and politically-charged artistic bonanza, what are you waiting for?

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Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January: Variations on Raw at Quincaillerie des Temps, Brussels

Focused around the notion of rawness, Quincaillerie’s selection of contemporary artists draws inspiration from flesh and simplicity, from Léa Dahan’s satirical illustrations to Julia Lebrao Sendra’s larger-than-life prints. Treat yourself.

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Thursday 18th January: U N D S K Y L D at Korsakov, Antwerp

In honour of their fresh 7″ vinyl A Little Closer, U N D S K L Y D’s Thursday set will undoubtedly ooze with their signature sense of musical indulgence. Preferring to stray from stereotypes and repeatedly keeping their audience guessing, there’s loose influences from odd jazz to aggressive post-punk. Not to be missed

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Thursday 18th January – Saturday 18th February: Expo Téhéran at Cinéma Galleries, Brussels

Centring on Kamran ADLE and 17 other young photographers, Une ville au pied des montagnes is set to be just as jaw-dropping as it sounds, with winter’s splendour as the central theme. Notably, Kamran’s trademark black-scale shots may be enough to convince us to let the frost linger a little longer. See you there.

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Thursday 18th January: 4yrs Foot Juice Collective at Bonnefooie, Brussels

Celebrate Foot Juice‘s 4th birthday bash, featuring The Word’s favourite DTM Funk and many more. Feel-good music to dance your little heart out to, from fancy footwork to ghetto-house. Get your gladrags on.

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Thursday 18th January – Saturday 25th February: Artists in Focus w/ Hong Sang-Soo at CINEMATEK, Brussels

Never one to shy away from controversy, Hong Sang-Soo’s films have a Freudian cryptic-quality to them. Focusing on traditional portrayals of masculinity in all it’s castration-anxiety glory, Sang-Soo plays with social fears of impotency in our modern world. An eye-opening opportunity.

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Friday 19th January: STOCK #9 at KASK, Ghent

An art student’s dream incarnate: KASK presents the 9th edition of their blind-dating experiment for contemporary artists. In practice, established and fresh-bloods collaborate for one all-encompassing exhibition.

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Friday 19th January – Saturday 1st April: Sophie Podolski & Vanessa Disler at WIELS, Brussels

WIELS has done it again, back from their brief hiatus and showcasing two incredible artists. Above all, Sophie Podolski’s life is tarnished with tragedy, from embracing sexual liberation to taking her own life at such a young age. Nevertheless, her intricate and dark body of graphic works live on. Concurrently, Vanessa Disler’s stripped back installations and paintings blur the lines between poetry and art. Two birds, one stone.

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Friday 19th – Saturday 20th January: Chouette Festival at CC Jacques Franck, Brussels

Two jam-packed evenings full of heart-warming musical celebrations at the cultural centre Jacques Franck. From Brussels newcomers Le Bal de Marie Galante to the formidable High Jinks Delegation, this is one for those partial to high vibrations. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 19th – Sunday 21st January: Opening Weekend at Het Bos, Antwerp

Het Bos has this weekend’s electronic fix covered, with an international line-up of DJs to kick off a new season, from The Word Radio regular Han Trax to UK-based Dean McPhee and Seabuckthorn. A-town, go show some love.

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Friday 19th January: Nathy Peluso + Blu Samu at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Spanish-born Nathy Peluso’s beats are as silky as they’re cut-throat, and they’re being matched by Luso-Belgian Blu Samu – not taking any prisoners. Well worth the hangover.

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Friday 19th – Saturday 20th January: Electropolis Festival at BPS22 & Rockerill, Charleroi

What happens when visual artists, plastics designers and electronica join forces? Electropolis keeps us guessing with a winning line-up, featuring DC Salas‘ intimate eclecticism, Xavier Mary‘s iconic installations and much more. Perfect for night-owl art lovers.

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Saturday 20th January: MODFEST 2018 at Muziekodroom, Hasselt

Back by popular demand, this year’s edition of MODFEST promises the seductive mix of techno you’ve grown accustomed to. Looking to make you shake your hips are Miss Kittin & THE HACKER, Egyptian Lover and other beloved ones. Don’t miss out.

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Saturday 20th January: 3000 Degrees opening at Brasserie Atlas, Brussels

Reviving performance art at Brasserie Atlas, Sploach Sploach boasts an abundance of broth for her lucky audience. Guaranteed to be laidback and an unforgettable Saturday, save your pennies and don’t worry about paying entry. Relax.

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Saturday 20th January – Saturday 29th April: Nikita Kadan – The Possessed can witness at court at M HKA, Antwerp

Ukranian-born artist Nikita Kadan explicitly approaches the tumultuous past and present of her capital city. Using the dimensions of a metal shelf Kadan’s The Possessed Can Witness at Court consistently interrogates the liberties we take for granted. Dark, pensive and raw – don’t sleep.

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Sunday 21st January – Saturday 18th March: Elke Andreas Boon at Galerie Annie Gentils, Brussels

Relatably-titled On a mangé tout le chocolat, Boon’s solo show paints a brutal and vulnerable portrait of the price of femininity. Known for not shying away from contemporary issues, this exhibition is no exception. Really, need we say more?

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Sunday 21st January: Shamanism, Refugees, Food & Art at ThalieLab, Brussels

Multi-culturalism at it’s finest: join shamans, academics and activists for a Sunday filled with tasty delights and stimulating conversation – just don’t forget to bring your signature dish to share. End the weekend right.

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