The times of online viewing rooms and Instagram exhibition tours are finally over – and Brussels’ galleries are celebrating the return to (almost) normalcy with a special Open Doors weekend. This Saturday and Sunday more than 40 of the capital’s art galleries will welcome visitors all day long from 11h00 to 19h00. Various safety measures have been put into place, and we recommend you bring a mask. See you there (from a distance)!
1 Nora Turato at La Maison de Rendezvous
Language plays a major role in Nora Turato‘s artistic universe, in her performances just as much as in the enamel works and wall paintings currently exhibited at La Maison de Rendezvous. In her works, the Croatian, Amsterdam-based artist reinterprets linguistic fragments she finds on social media, in film, literature, advertising, conversations, and human communication in general. In “let’s never be like that”, the trained graphic designer brings together seemingly disparate elements such as the color-sectioned design of cigarette packaging, huge graffiti tags, and hacked business Venn diagrams. Highly interesting!
2 Yield at Arcade
Arcade, which occupies spaces both in London and Brussels, presents works by three different artists who all, each in their own way, explore ideas of yielding. While British artist Kit Craig deals with the problems of how thought can be translated into an object and how these objects can be translated back into thoughts, Spanish artist Leonor Serrano Rivas‘ sculptures, films or installations are best described with the term dream logic. Maria Zahle from Copenhagen experiments a lot with colored materials and recently started dying her own yarn as an attempt to connect with the world.
3 EnormousBalls at Mendes Wood DM
“EnormousBalls” is not only the title of this exhibition, but also of a sculpture by Adriano Costa asking the viewer to reconsider the power of language – in this case the sexist implication that courage is somehow linked with masculinity. With this show, Mendes Wood DM responds to the tumultuous and historic events of the past few weeks, with people around the world fighting back against systemic racism and police brutality. Taking as a starting point the idea of courage, both artistic and political, “EnormousBalls” unites a multitude of different artistic voices, inspire important reflections about the fabric of society, showing humor in the face of adversity, or speaking up against oppression. With works by Fernando Marques Penteado, Sonia Gomes, Solange Pessoa and Paloma Bosquê, and many others. A timely exhibition that makes you ponder.
4 Marina Pinsky at C L E A R I N G
In “Four Color Theorem” at C L E A R I N G, Russian artist Marina Pinsky (1986), whose work has been shown at reputed places such as Kunsthalle Basel, draws on elements from the two places she inhabits: the Koekelberg neighbourhood in Brussels and the Berlin’s Hansa quarter. Fittingly, the title of the show refers to a mathematical theorem proving the minimum number of colors needed to successfully create a map. Pinsky explores how daily lived experience and local histories can connect with larger global interdependences, blending the microcosm and the macrocosm, our neighbourhoods and the architecture of the universe.
5 Harlan Levey Projects
For this weekend’s Brussels Gallery Open Doors, Harlan Levey Projects juxtapozes brand new as well as recent works by five different artists of the gallery. US-born, Brussels-based artist Haseeb Ahmed‘s practice is mainly collaborative and research-based, drawing on tools and techniques from the hard sciences to produce artworks. Emmanuel Van der Auwera, a Belgian artist, repeatedly questions our visual literacy, French artist Amelie Bouvier‘s intricate drawings transform found images and data in order to provide new perspectives, and Sean Crossley, an Australian artist, touches upon the cultural and economic conventions of painting while reviving themes and symbols relevant in art from generations ago. Polish Marcin Dudek deals with the rituals of subculture, DIY economy and crowd dynamics, often working with found, salvaged or repurposed materials. A fascinating glimpse into Harlan Levey’s carefully curated roster.
6 New Saints at Waldburger Wouters
“New Saints” is the result of a collaboration of Brussels gallery Waldburger Wouters with Xeno-, an artistic platform dedicated to everyone who identifies as a woman, gender non-comforming, or non-binary, with a focus on marginalised artists of Color. Accordingly, the group exhibition explores questions around identity and representation. Moroccan artist Hanane El Farissi for example investigates issues related to memory, the construction of the self, and judgemental societies, with the body and images of the body at the center of her practice. Violaine Le Fur on the other hand reveals an autobiographical approach, touching upon her childhood, her relationship with her father, and communicating with her ancestors. With Clara-Lane Lens, Eli Cortiñas, Hadassah Emmerich, Ichraf Nasri, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Melanie Peduzzi, Michèle Magema, and Zoë Paul. Thought-provoking!
7 Arnaud Rochard at Felix Frachon
Arnaud Rochard, living and working in Brussels and Guérande, intrigues with a practice that skillfully combines engraving and painting. Abundant with detail, Rochard’s works bring together mysterious landscapes and mythological figures in a dreamy, hypnotizing mix that almost turns nightmarish at times. It’s the artist’s first solo show at Galerie Felix Frachon.