Things to do in Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven, and Ghent from art festivals and openings to parties and birthday celebrations. See you there!
Exhibition: No Peaks at Barbarahof
Until 31 May Leuven
Precarious Pavilions is a project bringing art to four different Belgian cities in the form of a pavilion built for the occasion, each time thought up by a different artist. After Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp, the fourth and last edition, “No Peaks”, has taken up shop in front of the city’s Barbarahof. The artist behind it is Pieterjan Ginckels, whose “pavilion” is actually a black-painted truck trailer, which is meant to disrupt the site as planned by project developers. With this installation Ginckels wants to raise several questions: given climate change and looming financial and cultural crises – how can we think about architecture and the creation of space in an unstable world? Can precariousness influence our way of thinking and change our way of life? Part of the artwork is also a collab with skate shop Twits, with whom the Belgian artist produced a “No Peaks” skateboard to distribute it among the local skater community: “Under the motto ‘research & destroy’, the dull Western pseudo-urbanity must be consumed, experienced and destroyed from within”, Ginckels says.
Night out: SLCTR with Aline Bouvy at Jane’s
Thursday, 16 May Brussels
If you haven’t noticed yet: Jane’s, located in Ixelles right in between Place Chatelain and Place Brugman, has become somewhat of a preferred artist hangout. No wonder then, that at this Thursday’s Slctr night it’s Belgian artist Aline Bouvy who will play hand-picked favorites from her music collection. And by the way, they make good Whiskey Sours there.
Opening: Belgian Design – Generous Nature at Design Museum Gent
Opens on Friday, 17 May Ghent
This fascinating exhibition not only focuses on the buzzword sustainability but also the possibility to view politics, economics, norms, behaviour and social and human relations as the cornerstones of design culture. After having exhibited at the prestigious Milan Design Week this year, the Belgian designers now show their pieces at Design Museum Gent. Interesting!
Gallery hopping: Antwerp Art Weekend
From Thursday to Sunday Antwerp
While Brussels has been the number one city in Belgium for contemporary art in the last years, Antwerp keeps catching up. You can discover its incredibly vibrant and multifaceted scene in all its splendour this weekend during the yearly “Antwerp Art Weekend”. Museums, galleries, art centers, art residencies, project spaces, pop-up exhibitions, parties, … the program is massive. This 5th edition brings together over 80 initiatives for an intense, four-day art marathon. The official opening takes place at the renowned Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where you can experience performances, exhibitions and even an after party with the Academy’s teachers behind the decks. The weekend’s headquarters are located at De Studio and you can find the full program here.
Birthday bash: Happening at SMAK
From 18 to 19 May Ghent
This year Ghent’s S.M.A.K. celebrates its 20th anniversary, and you’re invited. This weekend artists, musicians, poets, dancers, writers and others will be part of the museum today but also formulate suggestions for the museum of tomorrow. Performances, concerts, workshops and interventions take over the inside and outside of S.M.A.K., the MSK, and the Floraliënhal. There’ll also be drinks, activities for children, food, and more. Not to miss!
Opening: There all is order and beauty at Argos
Opens Saturday, 18 May Brussels
This is a third and last exhibition of a series exploring the dialectic between photographic and moving images in the works of the Argos collection. This time, the focus lies on streets, hinterlands and landscapes, opening perspectives on both urban and rural surroundings. How do we connect with landscapes? How does a specific environment shape our behavior and our imagination? With works by Bernardet Thomas, Elina Brotherus, Alina Cristea, Joëlle de La Casinière, Pieter Geenen, and others.
Opening: There’s something about painting at Tatjana Pieters
Opens Sunday, 19 May Ghent
An exhibition not curated by the gallerist but by an artist, that’s what’s happening at Ghent’s Tatjana Pieters gallery this week. British artist Michal Pybus takes on the curator role for “There’s Something About Painting”, an obvious nod to the 90s comedy hit “There’s Something About Mary” – a choice that’s not surprising for someone whose own artistic universe is permeated by contemporary (pop) culture. The group show brings together 15 different artists, from American painter Thaddeus Strode to Dutch artist Lily Van Der Stokker. A celebration of painting in all its forms.