Photography and art in Antwerp, a birthday bash and concerts in Brussels, and more. See you there!
Photography I: Yoko Ikeda at Ibasho gallery
Runs until 20 March Antwerp
Antwerp’s Ibasho gallery, which had a stunning booth at last year’s Photo London, specializes in Japanese photography. Currently photography fans can discover “Monkey Puzzle”, a solo exhibition showcasing the work of Tokyo-based artist Yoko Ikeda. Fascinated by the common objects that surround us daily but are often overlooked, her images reveal a surprising beauty in the everyday. “For me photography is neither a way to record, nor a method of explanation of either things or phenomena. Photography is a form of experimentation to create a new world through the lens while consciously working with the ambiguity of visual sensation, as well as colours, composition, and fluctuations of perspective”, Yoko explains.
Birthday bash: Barbeton turns 4
From 25 to 28 February Brussels
When it comes to reviving Brussels neighborhoods, Fred Nicolay is somewhat of an institution. He’s the creative mind behind some of the capital’s most popular bars from Café Belga and Walvis to Potemkine and Flamingo. One of his babies is turning four this week, the both stylish and cozy BarBeton in the Dansaert area, characterized by untreated wood and a gorgeous concrete bar referencing a reception desk by Le Corbusier. There are four days of birthday celebrations awaiting you, featuring free antipasti, an electro swing party, and more.
Opening: Stan Van Steendam at Lifeisart
Friday, 26 February Antwerp
Antwerp’s Lifeisart supports and promotes artistry in several different forms and spaces. The creative mind behind it, Alec Nierinck, runs a cozy restaurant with a wall dedicated to art, the initiative KunST+, a workspace for artists with a mental handicap, and a small classical gallery, all in the same street. The latter hosts a solo exhibition featuring a selection of works by Stan Van Steendam, whose practice incorporating painting, drawing and sculptures, is strongly inspired by nature and its rich matter and the human interpretation of it.
Music: Kraak festival at Beursschouwburg
From 26 to 28 February Brussels
This weekend Belgian label Kraak takes over Brussels’ Beursschouwburg for three days and nights for the already 18th edition of the annual festival. It’s a real feast for music buffs that focuses on acts emerging from the underground, avant-garde and experimental parts of the current musical landscape. The international line-up includes Che Chen from the US, Italians Lino Capra Vaccina, and many others. See the full programme here.
Release party: The Sunday Charmers at La Tentation
Friday, 26 February Brussels
Don’t be misled by the comical image: even though The Sunday Charmers might come across as a comedy threesome judging from their rather silly visuals, these guys are serious musicians. The Belgian three-piece made up of two brothers and their childhood friend just released its fantastic debut EP “These Golden Summers”, which you can experience live on stage this Friday, at the (free!) release party. Expect surf pop-infused indie rock, at times reminding of The Whitest Boy Alive, that’s both danceable and melancholic. Listen to their single “This Way” here.
Concert: Jaakko Eino Kalevi at Botanique
Saturday, 27 February, 20h00 Brussels
We totally fell in love with Finnish synth pop oddity Jaakko Eino Kalevi at last year’s Wasteland festival, which is why we are very happy to welcome him back on Belgian grounds, this time at Botanique’s intimate Witloof bar. The dreamy Berlin-based Finn’s effortless mix of soft rock, electro pop, and disco makes for a fun, dancy affair with a dash of melancholy. Listen to one of his songs here.
Last days: Chris Dorland at Super Dakota
Closes on 27 February Brussels
“Happiness Machines” is the title of American artist Chris Dorland’s very first solo show in Europe, more specifically at Brussels’ Super Dakota. The exhibited pieces all stem from his so-called Scanner series, a compelling mélange of paintings and video art, which investigate Western capitalist logic and its power over our lives. At the same time, the combination of classical painting techniques with digital methods and consumer images is a reference to the contradictions of life in the 21st century, questioning the meaning of painting itself. Not to miss!
Photography II: Eva Roovers at 44 Gallery
Opening on Sunday, 28 February, 16h00 Bruges
Dutch-born photographer Eva Roovers intriguing, colorful images are carefully constructed. In her studio she arranges random, unassuming objects such as cups, lemons or brushes to strangely surprising sculptures, using everyday items to create new meanings. Leaving their original purpose behind, the objects reveal a world of their own with an emphasis on colors, shapes, and textures.
Cover photo Ulrike Biets