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Cultural things to do in Brussels, Charleroi, and Bruges. See you there!

Opening: Sanam Khatibi at Groeninge Museum

Friday, 30 April Bruges

“Lemon Drizzle” at Groeninge Museum in Bruges brings together about 20 paintings by  Iranian-born, Brussels-based artist Sanam Khatibi. Her colorful, unsettling paintings open up peculiar worlds that are striking reminders of human kind’s basic animality while featuring themes such as power structures, excess, bestiality, loss of control, male-female dynamics, domination and submission. In a past exhibition at Rodolphe Janssen gallery in Brussels, she explored the story of one of the most prolific serial killers in American history in a surprising way.

Opening: Ellis Island at Jewish Museum of Belgium

Opens Friday, 30 April Brussels

Latifa Echakhch, Inking (The cardboard suitcase)

The Jewish Museum of Belgium, located in Brussels’ picturesque Sablon neighborhood, operates at the intersection of art and culture, offering a space for tradition, openness and debate. Its rather intimate project space wants to give room to contemporary artistic practices and experimental projects. Starting this weekend, it will host the exhibition “Ellis Island”, uniting artists such as Latifa Echakhch, Alina Szapocznikow, Naama Tsabar, and Lawrence Weiner, whose works touch upon themes such as exile and migration.

Exhibition & studio visit: Kasper Demeulemeester and Alex Deforce at Studio CityGate

Until 30 April Brussels

“S01E03 – Uit de nalatenschap (Attempt at an inventory)” is the result of Kasper Demeulemeester‘s decision to retire as a working artist at the beginning of this year. Since then, he has been examining his “estate” in different ways, the outcome of which he presents in a series of exhibitions. Also currently worth a visit at Studio CityGate, a giant creative hub in Anderlecht, is the studio of Alex Deforce, a painter, poet, DJ and curator who welcomes interested visitors to discover his artistic universe.

Opening: Regenerate and Jacqueline de Jong at WIELS

Saturday, 1 May, 15-21h00 Brussels

Elen Braga, Prophecies, 2020. Hand-tufted acrylic yarn and jute

This weekend, two worthwhile exhibitions are opening at WIELS. “Regenerate”, both critical and hopeful, brings together works by Belgium-based artists that were created during this period of isolation and crisis, conveying how the pandemic is shaping our imagination and the revitalisation that art can offer. At the same time, the contemporary art center in the former Wielemans brewery hosts the first institutional solo show of Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong (1939) in Belgium. She was part of the Situationist International, an organization of social revolutionaries made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and political theorists, and became a key figure of the European post-war avant-garde.

Photography: Sunset Memory at Musée de la Photographie

Runs until 16 May Charleroi

Dimly lit, confined and largely deserted spaces dominate in “Sunset Memory”, an exhibition by Belgian photographer Peter H. Waterschoot at the Photography Museum in Charleroi. Of a mysterious, disquieting and Twin Peaks–esque atmosphere, they are the results of Waterschoot’s travels through Ostend, Brussels, Venice, Osaka or Berlin, revealing desolate bedrooms and corridors and stopped alarm clocks.

#StillStanding for culture: SpeakEasy at Café des Halles

Saturday, 1 May, 15h30-17h30 Brussels

In pre-pandemic times, SpeakEasy organized a multi-language spoken word evening for poets, authors, playwrights, comedians and wordsmiths of all kinds on every first Thursday of the month. Now, they’re joining the movement “Still Standing for Culture”, a response to the rigid and undifferentiated shutdown of an entire sector, with a Covid-safe event at the Halles de Saint Gery. Bring your masks, keep your distance, and if you feel brave, sign up for the open mic.

Architecture: Art Nouveau in the Marolles

Sunday, 2 May, 16-19h00 Brussels

Brussels’ Marolles neighborhood, first and foremost known for its historic flea market, is also a fascinating spot when it comes to architecture – especially the Art Nouveau movement. If you’re interested in learning more about it and discovering the area’s hidden architectural gems, the organisation ARAU offers a guided tour through the historic area this Sunday.

Cover photo Miles Fischler

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