Lots of arty things to do this week in Antwerp, Tielt, and Brussels. And, as is already on everyone’s lips, the Belgian bar and restaurant sector opens its doors again this Saturday, 8 May. Stay tuned for a separate guide for the special occasion. See you there!
New kid on the block: Lichtekooi art space
Opens Saturday, 8 May, 12h00 Antwerp
While the cultural sector has taken a hard hit during the pandemic, there remain beacons of light like this one. Lichtekooi
, a brand new space for contemporary art in Antwerp, opens its beautiful door embellished by by artists Tom Volkaert
and Hans Wuyts
for the first time this week, despite the current state of things. On the occasion of becoming a part of the art world, the inaugural exhibition “Dear art world, …”
reflects on its inner workings and stakeholders, examining aspects from commercialization to the institutional framework and the art crowd. With works by Marcel Broodthaers
, Evelin Brosi & Elvis Bonier
, Vaast Colson
, Christian Jankowski
, and many others. Stay tuned for an interview with the founders about the project.
Opening: Hugh Hayden at Clearing
Thursday, 6 May, 11-20h00 Brussels
Portrait by William Jess Laird
American artist Hugh Hayden
doesn’t just focus on his own practice: he also tries to use his status as a young, black and rather successful artist to help those who don’t have easy access to the art world due to their social or economic status. Together with Clearing Gallery
, Lisson and Columbia University, he founded the Solomon B. Hayden Fellowship
, named after his father, that does exactly that. This week, Hayden is opening a solo show at Clearing in Brussels: “Hues”
explores issues revolving around “African Americanness” in relation to the greater African Diaspora, featuring a series of sculptures merging casts of wooden West African masks from tribes the artist is genetically related to with imprints of his own body parts. A must-see!
(Re)opening weekend: Extra City
From 7 to 9 May Antwerp
Kunsthal Extra City, a project focusing on encouraging us to reflect on contemporary urban topics, finally reopens this week. Having left the former premises of the Goossens laundry, it now has found a new home in a dominican monastery, on the main site of Aair Antwerp, which provides studios for artists. Visitors can discover three inaugural exhibitions: “Radically Naive / Naively Radical” seeks to positively re-evaluate the notion of naivety while exploring the tension between doing and analyzing, designing and actually making. The chapel features “Watermarks, silent traces”, the first Belgian solo show by multidisciplinary artist Michèle Magema, and for the project “Periphery”, a number of artists created new, semi-permanent works on view in the peripheral areas of the church and chapel.
Opening: Minigolf Beatrijs
Saturday, 8 May, 11-23h00 Antwerp
Not your usual mini golf course! Right at the banks of the Scheldt river, next to Antwerp’s iconic pedestrian tunnel, Minigolf Beatrijs has been providing a cozy, laid-back summer hangout where the artsy crowd and locals meet. Now it opens again this Saturday after major renovations, inviting you to say hello to its chicken Dolly and Polly as well as discover no less than 19 golf lanes which have been reinvented by 9 different visual artists.
Exhibition: Mokita at Blikfabriek
From 6 to 9 May Antwerp
The word Mokita is taken from a language called Kivila, which is spoken in Papua New Guinea. Having no English equivalent, it refers to the extent to which a group is able to not bring up something everyone is aware of – an unuttered yet shared secret, if you will. “Mokita” is also the title of a group exhibition
taking place this week at Antwerp’s Blikfabriek, where different artists explore the idea being guided by the Mokita within their own group,”a silent agreement that truth is more truthful when left untranslated; resignation to the idea that much is shared in what is not shared; the honesty of (not) saying that no one knows”. With works by Renaat Van Hove
, Hanna-Lee Daled
, Witold Vandenbroeck
, and many others.
Exhibition: Night Training
From 5 to 9 May Brussels
For five days in an unnamed location in Brussels’ St. Gilles neighbourhood, five artists working with different mediums get together for a group exhibition titled “Night Training”
. From Wednesday to Sunday you’re invited to discover the artistic universes of Naomi Gilon
, Francois Patoue
, Tommy Lecot
, Heloise Rival
, and Simon Bervet
, ranging from painting and ceramics to sculpture and installation.
Opening: After all, a collection is only human at Villa Vandenbussche
Opens Sunday, 9 May Tielt
Did you know that together with Switzerland, Belgium counts the highest density of art collectors? “After all, a collection is only human” presents selected works by five Belgian private collectors, which have never been shown together before. Worth a look are not only the featured artworks (including pieces by Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Kelly Schacht, Thomas Schütte, and many others), but also the exceptional exhibition space: the iconic Villa Vandenbussche in Tielt, a progressive, modernist house built in 1969 and classified as a monument in 2008. The fascinating group show is presented by Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens.