Things to do in Belgium this week: openings and nights out in Brussels, photography in Antwerp, concerts in Ghent, and more. See you there!
Opening: Stephen Willats at MOT International
Thursday, 10 April, 18h00-21h00 Brussels
With “Concrete Block” MOT International presents a selection of drawings and works on paper by London artist Stephen Willats, a pioneer when it comes to conceptual art. He mostly deals with the role of modern buildings in contemporary society, exploring issues related to architecture, social housing or unoccupied sites drawing on theories from different fields such as philosophy and sociology. Willats’ works are part of a number of major collections from Tate to the National Portrait Gallery.
Night out: Nosedrip and Captain Starlight at Bonnefooi
Thursday, 10 April, 21h00 Brussels
At Brussels’ Bonnefooi it’s all about music. The two-leveled but cozy bar offers music fans everything from record sales to concerts and music-related exhibitions. This Thursday Belgian DJ Nosedrip, hailing from Ostend, will be behind the decks, providing a mix of Trance, Wave, Moody and Ambient together with Captain Starlight, co-founder of the infamous Brussels Holger parties.
Photography: James Casebere at Galerie Templon
Closes on Saturday, 12 April Brussels
Brussels’ Galerie Templon is showcasing the newest works of American, New York-based photographer James Casebere, his first exhibition in the Belgian capital. His fascinating images are the results of model-building and meticulous lighting designs inspired by environmental disasters. Examining the relationship between human beings and their natural surroundings, Casebere draws on architecture and cinematography and questions the notion of the home as a utopian symbol of today’s Western society. Make sure to check out the expo fascinating works before the exhibition closes this Saturday.
Film festival: Millenium
Runs until Friday, 11 April Brussels
Death Metal Angola
The International Documentary Film Festival founded in 2009 focuses on movies exploring socially and politically relevant issues, inspired by the UN Millennium goals aiming at eradicating hunger, poverty and other human hardships. More than 50 international films have been selected, exploring subjects such as the life of street kids in Addis Abeba (“The Wild Years”), Arab-Jewish relationships (“Life Sentences”) and organizing a rock festival in war-torn Angola (“Death Metal Angola”). See the full programme here.
Exhibition: Richard Jackson at SMAK
Runs until 1 June Ghent
Ghent’s SMAK is treating you this year with the first retrospective ever of American artist Richard Jackson, referred to by some as a so-called Neo-Dadaist. He undoubtedly is one of the most radical and unconventional artists of the last 40 years, blowing up the common notions of painting with operations such as crashing a model plane filled with paint into a wall. “Ain’t Painting a Pain” showcases Jackson’s room-scale installations from 1970 to 2014 together with over 150 preparatory drawings, works on paper, and models.
Photography: Florian Bijloos at LLS 387
Closes on Sunday, 20 April Antwerp
Antwerp’s LLS 387, one of Belgium’s most exciting places to discover emerging art, currently exhibits the works of Belgian photographer Florian Bijloos. The expo shows a selection of works from 2000 to 2006 representing a kind of diary of the artist’s daily life. With a tender look he aims his lense at friends, family and the places that surround him, always with respect and never with voyeurism.
Exhibition: Jannis Kounellis at Almine Rech
Closes on Thursday, 17 April Brussels
Greek-born Jannis Kounellis is known as one of the pioneers of Arte Povera, an art movement from the 60s rejecting new technologies and pop art and using cheap materials such as stones and newspapers. Accordingly, Kounellis works a lot with ready-made objects, even living ones as human beings and animals. Although this adds a performing arts element to his practice, he mainly understands himself as a painter. Brussels’ Almine Rech Gallery gives you a glimpse of his fascinating oeuvre.
Concert: Kurt Vile at Vooruit
Friday, 11 April, 19h30 Ghent
Last year Kurt Vile released “Wakin on a Pretty Daze”, already his fifth studio album. By the way: It’s graced by a photograph of a mural made especially for the former War on Drugs member by no other than fellow Philadelphian and international art star Steve Powers whose work you should definitely check out too. Over the years Kurt has quietly become one of the great American singer-songwriters of our time, drawing you in with his warm, unpretentious, comforting and spacious sound. This Friday he’ll be playing at Ghent’s Vooruit.
Old meets new: A late night at the opera at La Monnaie
Saturday, 12 April, 19h00 Brussels
Brussels’ La Monnaie offers an unlikely and original mix this Saturday bringing together the very different worlds of opera and electronic music. Before the very last showing of Philippe Boesmans’ “Au monde”, Belgian band The Subs will give a little introductory talk and afterwards there’s a proper party in the beautiful opera premises featuring Catclub’s Lady Jane and Fais Le Beau behind the decks.
Night out: Twisted Melon & Balthazar DJ set at Stockholm S
Saturday, 12 April, 23h00 Antwerp
Stockholm S (we still have to find out why it’s named after the medical condition Stockholm syndrome) just opened its doors last October. Behind it is Carlos Maldonado, the owner of the super popular Korsakov bar (of course also named after a medical condition). You can check out Antwerp’s cool new venue this Saturday when there’s an indie party with the guys from Twisted Melon as well as Belgian rising stars Balthazar providing the soundtrack for the night. For fans of David Bowie, The Beatles, The Smiths and everything that gets those hips moving.