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Things to do in Belgium this week: painting, books and music in Brussels, cinema and photography in Antwerp, and more. See you there!

Exhibition: Michaël Borremans at Bozar

Closing on 3 August Brussels

“As sweet as it gets” is undoubtedly one of this year’s exhibition highlights. Uniting about 100 works from the last two decades, Bozar’s large-scale retrospective gives a fascinating overview of Borreman’s compelling oeuvre. The Belgian painting star, working and living in Ghent, is mainly known for his realistic, intriguing and at times somber creations which are partly inspired by some of history’s greatest painters such as Goya, Velázquez, Manet and Degas. “I don’t work systematically: I must always have a reason to paint something. A work of art must always arise from a sort of necessity. And each work must be special”, he recently told Agenda Magazine.

Book launch: Marie Angiletti at Théophile’s Papers

Wednesday, 26 February, 18h00 Brussels

If you haven’t checked out this lovely little bookshop yet, this week is the perfect opportunity to do so. In collaboration with MER. Paper Kunsthalle Théophile’s Papers throws an event to celebrate the launch of French artist Marie Angeletti’s newest book. In “Hobbs McLaughlin” Angeletti focuses on an exhibition she held in a London apartment and the social contexts surrounding it.

Movie: Oh Boy at De Roma

Wednesday, 26 February, 20h30 Antwerp

Jan-Ole Gerster’s debut film “Oh Boy” was one of German cinema’s biggest surprises of 2012. The award-winning movie, beautifully shot in black and white, shows one day and one night in the life of Niko, a college dropout in his late twenties. Captivatingly portrayed by rising German acting star Tom Schilling, he aimlessly drifts through the streets of Berlin. “The anti-heroes of film and literature were always the characters to which I felt closest. The main protagonist in my film is certainly greatly inspired by characters like Holden Caulfield, Benjamin Braddock and Antoine Doinel”, says Gerster. Antwerp’s cinema De Roma screens “Oh Boy” this Wednesday.

Concert: Recorders at Kultuurkaffee

Wednesday, 26 February, 19h30 Brussels

They worked with Tony Hoffer in LA, toured the UK with The Fratellis and recently released this stunning video shot in Norwegian fjords  – Belgian five-piece Recorders is clearly aiming high. This Wednesday they play their first gig of the year at Brussels’ Kultuurkaffee, giving you the chance to get a sneak preview of their upcoming album ‘Above the Tide’, an atmospheric mix of post-pop, indie, rock and electro elements. For fans of MGMT, M83 and Phoenix.

Art meets web culture: Temp#6 at iMAL

Wednesday, 26 February, 18h00 Brussels

The so-called bar.temp project tries to bring together art and network culture in an original and creative way, offering an eclectic programme ranging from performances and music to web culture, food and wine. This edition’s pop up bar is taking over Brussels’ iMAL this Wednesday and features artists such as Lucas Lejeune, Paul Boudeau and Third Hand. Gaillard & Claude, IRM webradio’s Laetitia Tónlistina and Black Bivouac festival provide the soundtrack. A great meeting point for culture vultures and web nerds alike!

Night out: Catclub at Wild Gallery

Saturday, 1 March Brussels

Photography Lara Gasparotto

Photography Lara Gasparotto

If you’re in the mood for a wild night, Catclub is the place to go. Probably the best party in town, it unites great line-ups and original venues with an artsy, open-minded crowd. If there’s an outfit or make-up you’ve never dared to put on – here is the perfect occasion to try it out. 2014’s first edition at the Wild Gallery sees Hamburg DJs Smallpeople and Elin behind the decks, offering partygoers a groovy mix of Deep house, Detroit Techno and Chicago-flavoured house music. Hangover guaranteed.

Music: Repair Café at Trix

Saturday, 1 March, 14h00-18h00 Antwerp

Having problems with your guitar, pedals, amp or synthesizer? Antwerp’s concert venue Trix hosts the so-called Repair Café this Saturday, giving you the opportunity to get your music equipment fixed at democratic prices in a cosy café setting by two true pros: Tom Pauwels from Lion Amps and instrument maker Stijn Kenens.

Photography: Chinese Spring at Stieglitz

Closing on 1 March Antwerp

Photography Ren Hang

Photography Ren Hang

Antwerp’s photography gallery Stieglitz has always had a knack for the Chinese avant-garde. Its current exhibition “Chinese Spring” proves this once again, uniting the rather provocative works of Ren Hang (recently featured in an expo curated by Chinese art star Ai Weiwei) with Liu Xiaofang’s dream-like photographs. Als on show: Chi Peng, Nini Sum and Cai Huanhe. A great insight into China’s new generation of photographers.

Concert: Midlake at AB

Sunday, 2 March, 20h00 Brussels

When a band’s frontman leaves, it often signifies the beginning of the end. Not so in the case of experimental indie folk outfit Midlake: The Texans have recovered quite well from Tim Smith’s departure who was replaced by fellow band member Eric Pulido. Their newest album “Antiphon” successfully keeps the typical Midlake spirit whilst exploring new territories. You can check it out yourself this Sunday at Brussels’ AB.

Duo expo: Rana Hamadeh & Hamza Halloubi at Kiosk

Closing on 23 March Ghent

Ghent’s Kiosk Gallery, located in a former anatomical theatre, presents a duo show juxtaposing the works of Lebanese artist Rana Hamadeh and Moroccan artist Hamza Halloubi who both deal with themes as history, language and identity. Hamadeh’s expo “A River In A Sea In A River” reveals her fascination for outsiders and outlaws while Halloubi’s video works under the title “Appear” take his admiration for Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as a starting point.

So, see you there!

Cover picture Grégoire Pleynet

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