Skip to main content

Things to do in Belgium this week: An exciting retrospective in Antwerp, celebrating love in Brussels, diving into music in Liège, and more. See you there!

Opening: Shilpa Gupta at M HKA

Opens Friday, 21 May Antwerp

Indian artist Shilpa Gupta, who lives and works in Mumbai, has made a name for herself with a sensorial but at the same time political practice that ranges from manipulated found objects and video to interactive computer-based installations and performances. Gupta examines the powers that dictate our lives, the physical and ideological existence of boundaries, ethno-religious divides and structures of surveillance, definitions of legal and illegal, belonging and isolation. At the last Venice Biennale, she impressed with a new multi-channel sound installation featuring the works of poets as well as a metal gate swinging back and forth into a wall, creating a striking demonstration of destruction. “Today Will End” is the first mid-career survey exhibition of Gupta’s oeuvre, bringing together many of her key works for the first time. And it all takes place in Antwerp’s M HKA – what a treat for Belgian art-goers!

Love is love: Belgian Pride

Until 23 May Brussels

You might have noticed it already: Brussels is currently dressed up in rainbow colors, from its tunnels to facades. On the occasion of the Belgian Pride, it helps spread a message of diversity, inclusion, and solidarity. Due to the pandemic, there obviously won’t be a big parade this year, but you can participate too: everybody’s invited to color the city’s pavement, and if you don’t have any chalk, you can order it here. There are also a number of digital events taking place, such as online parties and panel talks.

Concerts and more: Label Night Luik Music

Saturday, 22 May, 17h30-21h30 Liège

Liège label Luik Music invites music makers and listeners to a night of concerts and industry talks (on Twitch). You can tune in to see and hear homegrown bands Jeremy Walch, Endless Dive and Bothlane live, get advice on your musical project, as well as learn about other jobs in the sector and what it takes to become a booker or sound engineer. Full program here.

Opening: This Must Be The Place at Alice Gallery

Opens 21 May, 14-21h00 Brussels

With “This Must Be The Place”, also the title of a Talking Heads song, Belgian duo Hell’O in a sense processes their experience of lockdown and confinement throughout the pandemic. Like many, the artists rediscovered interiors, turning their eyes and creative inspiration towards the shelves, sculptures, plants and flowers around them. The 30 new drawings exhibited at Alice Gallery, which the duo worked on separately this time, tellingly never exceed the size of the dining table or the desk. Nevertheless, there’s a surprising harmony and common visual language to be discovered, underlining the strong ties between the two-piece’s members Jérôme Meynen and Antoine Detaille.

Exhibition: Ruben Boeren at A-SPACE

From 21 to 23 May Antwerp

Emerging Belgian artist Ruben Boeren studied painting at the renowned Royal Academy in Antwerp, as well as visual research at Sint-Lucas. You can discover his vibrant artistic universe oscillating between the figurative and the abstract this weekend at “Form Follows Flow” at Antwerp’s A-Space, an industrial building on the edge of the Spoor Noord park.

Exhibition: F#%k U & ur DisNey World at Super Dakota

Runs until 6 June Brussels

Introduced by a cryptic press release consisting of a video featuring disoriented penguins, the group show “F#%k U & ur DisNey World” at Super Dakota brings together works by an interesting combination of contemporary artists. American painter Julia Wachtel, often associated with the iconic Pictures Generation, explores pop culture images and their impact on the human psyche while French-born Sarah Derat works on the intersection of sculpture and digital technology with a particular interest in the effect of AI/automation on language, cognition and society at large. Also on view: Paul McCarthy, Math Bass, Baptiste Caccia, Cai Zebin, Aleksandra Domanović, Gareth Long, Isaac Lythgoe, Real Madrid, and Asha Schechter.

Opening: James Welling and Like the Wall Awaiting the Ivy at MACS

Opens Sunday, 23 May Hornu

Not one but two exhibitions are opening at MACS Grand Hornu this week: “Cento”, referring to the ancient practice of assembling fragments of various poetic or musical works, presents a project by American artist James Welling that all started with taking a photograph of a bust displaying Julia Mamaea, a Roman empress of Syrian origin. He printed it in a range of colours based on the ancient photographic collotype technique, reflecting on time, history, memory. Staying on topic, “Like the Wall Awaiting the Ivy” proposes a poetic, critical meditation on the theme of ruins, featuring an installation by Oriol Vilanova, a double projection of films by Fiona Tan and a sculpture by Daniel Turner.

Cover photo Sasha Vernaeve

Leave a Reply