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Eight things to do in Belgium this week, from exhibitions in Veurne at the Belgian seaside to an art festival in Mechelen. See you there!

Group exhibition: Kunst om het lijf at Emergent

From 1 July to 17 September Veurne

things to do in Belgium“Kunst om het lijf”, which the curator of this fascinating group show at Emergent, Roxane Baeyens, translates to “Art for the body’s sake”, is built around Friedrich Nietzsche’s idea of the physiology of art: “Art is nothing else than a kind of applied physiology”, he said in “Nietzsche contra Wagner”. Accordingly, the German philosopher drew parallels between art and sexuality, talked about art in terms of drifts and instincts, and considered it imperative for art to be pleasing for the body. And he was not the only one: numerous philosophers after Nietzsche, along with many artists, looked at art from a corporal perspective. But to what extent is this theory still relevant to present-day artists? Roxane put this interesting question to a couple of Belgian and international artists including renowned homegrown painter Robert Devriendt and Young Belgian Art Prize nominee Hannelore Van Dijck. Definitely worth the trip to the seaside!

Music: Blackout session #57 at Atelier 210

Tuesday, 26 June, 21h00 Brussels

No, you won’t be forced to get blackout drunk for this one. Atelier 210‘s blackout sessions invite music lovers to listen to a record in complete darkness, making the experience this much more intense. Next up is Joy Division‘s “Closer” this Tuesday, the band’s second and final album described by cultural theorist Mark Fisher as “the crown jewel of post-punk”. Be on time, otherwise the doors will stay closed.

Photography: Musée de La Photo de Bruxelles at Recyclart

Thursday, 29 June, 17-23h00 Brussels

In a highly ambitious project, the group exhibition “Musée de La Photo de Bruxelles” gathers the works of 80 different Belgian photographers – but only for one day, attempting to give an overview of the country’s vibrant photography scene while drawing attention to the fact that the capital lacks an institution of that kind. Besides the must-see show there’ll be music, food, workshops, and more.

End of year show: See you when the sun sets east at Nest

From 24 to 28 June Ghent

Guus bakker graduation show

© Guus Bakker

This year 22 students are finishing the photography bachelor program at Ghent’s renowned KASK university.  For the occasion the graduates are asked to make “a statement about the world”, an exercise whose result is a multifaceted, wondrous mix of photographs embarking in a myriad of different directions.  “See you when the sun sets east” deals with themes touching upon questions arising from our very existence and lay bare today’s society using historic and documentary approaches as well as personal stories. With works by Brenda Lou Schaub, Guus Bakker, Elias Asselbergh, and many others.

Art walk: D.ART Kunstroute 2017 at CC Mechelen

From 28 June to 2 July Mechelen

This week art lovers will pilgrimage to Mechelen, where the D.ART Kunstroute festival aims to bundle the city’s artistic forces for the 8th time. The annual art walk invites you to discover Mechelen’s small but not insignificant art scene, including the city’s cultural center, Artenova’s so-called talent factory, Galerie Transit, and others.

Graduation show: Way Out at Recy-K

Until 28 June Brussels

Belgium is buzzing with graduation shows for the moment. One you shouldn’t miss is “Way Out” at Recy-K, where the graduates of the ERG Master course “Practice of Art – Tools of Criticism” have taken over no less than 1500 square meters of exhibition space. With works by Angélique Aubrit, Juliette Cazalic, Miléna Desse, Irina Favero-Longo, Rébecca Fruitman, Quentin Lemarchand, Cécile Matignon, Kaliane Meret, Jeanne Tara and Marion Voegelé.

Art picnic: MDD BBQ at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens

Sunday, 2 July Deurle

If you thought museum visits are an activity reserved for rainy days, think again. For the opening of “Walther Vanbeselaere, collector for the state 1948-1973“, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens puts on a family-friendly outdoor picnic in its green surroundings. Bring a blanket and enjoy a perfect Sunday mixture of art, sun, and good food. There’ll also be special activities for your little ones.

Festival: Couleur Café at Atomiumsquare

From 30 June to 2 July Brussels

© Nathalie Nizette

Brussels festival Couleur Café has been around for quite a while, known not only for its eclectic line-up but also for its vast world food selection and involvement in social issues. Here, you won’t only be able to enjoy music but also discover stands of NGOs, dance workshops, and more. This year the three-day music bash takes place in a brand new location right at the iconic Atomium and the line-up includes electro veterans Birdy Nam Nam, rising Belgian rapper Romeo Elvis, The Roots, Compact Disk Dummies, and many others.

Cover photo Lisa Lapierre

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