Things to do in Belgium this week: art, publishing, and music in Kortrijk, Brussels, and Antwerp. See you there!
Music festival: Les Nuits Botanique
From 16 to 25 May Brussels
Botanique’s annual Les Nuits music festival kicks off this Friday with an eclectic programme uniting established bands and newcomers and we’ve selected this week’s highlights for you: Australian psychedelic dance rock duo Jagwar Ma, whose debut album Howlin’ is definitely one of our favorites of last year’s releases, takes the stage on Saturday. The day after you should check out London’s We Have Band, a trio known for mixing up melodic synth pop and dancy electro rock sounds. For those who prefer the more intimate and quieter tunes there’s a solo show by one of America’s most famous female singer-songwriters: Cat Power. And there’s also an after party planned stretching over three concert halls with some really cool acts behind the decks ranging from Paris’ Salut C’est Cool! to homegrown DJ Nosedrip. A helluva weekend for all music fans!
Opening: O̶N̶ ̶ / OFF and Dancing Bear at Greylight Projects
Wednesday, 14 May, 18h00 Brussels
Greylight Projects is the name of an artist-run initiative providing residency and exhibition spaces. It has branches in Dutch town Hoensbroek as well as in Brussels and focuses on the development, production and presentation of autonomous art from all disciplines. This Wednesday you can check out their Brussels’ space in the basement of the former Gesu church, where a double expo will be opening showcasing works of Bonne van Doorn and Joséphine Kaeppelin.
Last days to see: Full House at Aeroplastics
Closes on Saturday, 17 May Brussels
“Full House” at Brussels’ Aeroplastics is one massive groups exhibition providing a vast overview of the gallery’s artists and exhibitions of the last 15 years. The anniversary expo showcases works from no less than 100 artists including John Isaacs, Charley Case, Joy Garnett, Gavin Turk, Robert Gligorov and many others. An eclectic, genre-crossing mix you should not miss.
Opening: Allen Ruppersberg and Robert Heinecken at Wiels
Thursday, 15 May, 18h00 Brussels
This Thursday Brussels’ Wiels kicks off its summer exhibition programme with shows featuring two major American artists: conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg and photographer Robert Heinecken. London DJ Doug Shipton, who is known for his unpredictable sets embracing obscure samples such as German library music or Czech cinema soundtracks will provide the soundtrack for the opening night. Plus, the sisters from Il Sapore della Dolce Vita will serve their delicious piadina.
Opening: Fiona Mackay at Albert Baronian
Thursday, 15 May, 18h00 Brussels
Under the title “Sisters” Brussels’ Albert Baronian Gallery, one of Brussels’ oldest, presents a solo show of Scottish artist Fiona Mackay, a former Wiels resident. So far she’s mainly known for her colorful, sensual and abstract paintings. “My work has always been concerned with opposites, whether in regard to medium, imagery, or application, in an attempt to confess a personal narrative, versus a public system of signs always in potential flux,” the artist told Artinfo.
Opening: D!NG magazine at R.A.A.M.
Thursday, 15 May, 18h00 Kortrijk
Belgian online art magazine D!NG, only founded last year, aims at putting forward young, emerging artists from all over the world. Now I organizes its very first exhibition at Kortrijk’s R.A.A.M. featuring 14 artists from Belgium and beyond. The genre-crossing show includes the powerful yet intimate images by rising Belgian photographer Joke De Wilde as well as works by Evelien Boden, Niels Ketelers and Alejandra Vargas Díaz. Cake and coffee will be served and there’s also a lecture by independent curator Pieter Vermeulen.
Opening: Portray at Tim Van Laere
Thursday, 15 May, 18h00 Antwerp
Antwerp’s Tim Van Laere Gallery presents “Portray”, an extensive, diverse and mesmerizing group exhibition bringing together some of our very favorite artists. The show features the fascinating charcoal drawings of Belgium’s current everybody’s darling Rinus Van De Velde, pieces by the legendary Pablo Picasso, German-born Kati Heck’s intriguing realistic paintings, the enigmatic works of former skateboarder Ed Templeton and much more. An eclectic, forceful mix you definitely should not miss.
Night out: Catclub and Friends at Old Casino
Saturday, 17 May, 23h00 Brussels
It’s the Belgian Pride this weekend and if you still have some energy left afterwards, what better place to dance the night away than Brussels’ Catclub. Hosted in the city’s beautiful Old Casino for the very first time, it’s promising to be a memorable night with Catclub favorite Kim Ann Foxman behind the decks as well as Planningtorock and Parisians Flash Cocotte and Barbieturix.
Brunch meets art at Valerie Traan
Sunday, 18 May, 11h00-17h00 Antwerp
Valerie Traan’s current exhibitions will close this coming weekend with a special treat for you: a delicious Sunday brunch. The Antwerp-based gallery’s shows are particularly interesting for design fans, featuring works by design collective Studio Simple, Belgian furniture designers Muller Van Severen, jewellery designer Clarisse Bruynbroeck, and sculptor Johan Tahon.