Agenda Thursday 5th December

Carmen de Georges Bizet – Les Ateliers Indigo from 5th to 7th December at Cinquantenaire, Brussels

Brussels-based Les Ateliers Indigo is that rare non-profit that brings the handicapped out of the fringes and into mainstream society by shining a light on their unrealised potential, given their merry tribe of 18 and over lovelies the opportunity to develop their inner beauties through an artistic formation that very much embraces their differences. As such, the non-profit presents its opera production Carmen, the result of a year-long workshop that sees its beloved and endearing students take to the stage over five different presentations starting tonight and going through Sunday. Having had the opportunity of welcoming the troupe at The Word Radio a few times now and seeing their creative freedom in full force, we can only strongly recommend this one to you. file View the event on Facebook

4th Stream Festival from 5th to 7th December at Bozar, Brussels

In its second year running, Bozar teams up with Volta for a three-day festival of contemporary jazz that operate on the fringes. Day 1 sees Niels broos & Jamie Peet’s experimental hip hop-infused jazz take to the stage, with the Volta-affiliated Brussels-based quintet 2 Times Nothing on support duties. Day 2’s line-up has London’s Ruby Rushton deliver its smooth blend of contemporary jazz to the willing masses, with 22A bossman Tenderlonious drop in later on for a DJ set. To finish things off with a bang, day 3 sees the Broos/Gyselinck/Laheye trio come through, with International Anthem signee Anteloper, whose 2018 album features none other than Jaimie Branch, also on the bill. Your best chance yet to see jazz evolve from its traditional roots and take in everything from electronic, funk, spoken word and ambient undertones. Whichever day you pick, you won’t be disappointed. file View the event on Facebook

The Arts – Wojnarowicz – Tape Journals on Thursday 5th December at Fformatt, Brussels

Following a visit to New York’s Whitney Museum and an encounter with the work of David Wojnarowicz, composer Szymon Brzoska, pianist Barbara Drazkowska, viola player Victor Guaita and dancer Jacob Storer join forces to respond to this seminal figure of 1970s New York and his substantial, activism-inclined oeuvre in the realms of painting, photography, writing, filmmaking, performance art and recordings. Seeing parallels between Wojnarowicz’s relentless focus on gay culture and the many injustices it experienced then, and still does to this day, the show presents a soundscape and a scenic environment that reinterprets Wojnarowicz’s tapes journals through performance. Also on show is the debut exhibition by itinerant curatorial platform Bramble which brings together the artistic narratives of Ram Botero, Mavi Veloso, Johannes Arnauts, Eric Peter and Zachary Schoenhut to unite different visions on queer life. file View the event on Facebook

Ear You Are 7 We Lo(u)ve Radio on Thursday 5th December at Hectolitre, Brussels

We Lo(u)ve radio hones in on the often-overlooked power of radio. In this context, Aurélie and Jeanne Louve invite a number of surprise guests for in-situ on-air performances in unexpected locations. Stolen moments in the bubble of improvised radio studios where you can lean into soothing vocabulary and voices at dusk. file View the event on Facebook

Earth on Thursday 5th December at Vooruit, Ghent

Drone metal pioneers Earth come back to Vooruit and present their latest album, Full Upon Her Burning Lips, in what is a Belgium premier. file View the event on Facebook

Opening of Anton Henning on Thursday 5th December at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp

Kitsch and the eponymous pop star, Picasso’s Rose Period and commercialized charities: internationally recognized German artist Anton Henning’s oeuvre is as eclectic and contradictory as the associations the colour pink conjures. Henning, who presents his third solo exhibition Pink Period at Tim Van Laere Gallery, gives a contemporary interpretation of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ or total work of art, indulging in hybridity and despising every acknowledged given about good taste. Like your weighty art history encyclopaedia came to life for a twisted trip through the vexed art canon. file View the event on Facebook

Opening of Keith Haring on Friday 6th December at Bozar, Brussels

For many amongst us, Keith Haring’s typical one-line figures became one of the first encounters with modern art as a child. The American icon of public art and activism cherished children’s infinite imagination, with a baby-like creature as recurrent element in his accessible visual language. A simple and dynamic style brought American street life into the art gallery and vice versa: the subway became the ultimate canvas to exhibit, testifying of the still relevant dialogue the famous artist initiated with the social and political reality of 80s New York. An indispensable retrospective of an artist manoeuvring between Warhol and Basquiat. file View the event on Facebook

East Village & Underground Artistic Sense of NYC on Friday 6th December at Bozar, Brussels

Three contemporaries of Keith Haring that also roamed the grim streets of late 70s New York revel in nostalgia during a contextualizing event for the big retrospective at Bozar. Editor Leonard Abrams and DJ’s Gil Vasques and Dany Johnson come together to reminiscence over wild years of rock, punk and hip-hop communities meeting in the East Village neighbourhood and their close friend’s artistic legacy. file View the event on Facebook

Basic Moves back Chez Jacques on Friday 6th December at Chez Jacques, Brussels

Nothing too complicated, just unwinding after a long week of work. Disappear into the mysterious Molenbeek basement of Chez Jacques for some good old Friday night fever. Hicham, Malika, Andrew James Gustav and Boudewijn Erickx will take good care of you and your dancing shoes, the entire proceedings hosted by the ever-excellent Basic Moves crew. Essential. file View the event on Facebook

Heartbroken 15 on Friday 6th December at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Tears of joy and bittersweet smiles are back at Beurschouwburg’s top floor. The range of genres the Heartbroken crew serves is as versatile as your emotional stability. Haunting live sets by lo-fi auto tune prince Organ Tapes and Emiranda, who make sunrise chill-out meet French house from the nillies, pave the path for a shuffling and stuttering night with Samuelspaniel and the faithful team Heartbroken DJs. Don’t sleep. file View the event on Facebook

Opening of Fleur de Roeck – Ile Flottante on Saturday 7th December at Keteleer Gallery, Antwerp

Splashes of energy and dreamlike landscapes roam Fleur de Roeck’s painterly universe. She fills her canvasses with traces of nature and abstract bright drawings, a remainder of her background in illustration that never fully satisfied her. Another gifted Antwerp artist on the horizon. file View the event on Facebook

Opening of Winnie Claessens - I’ve Done Questionable Things on Saturday 7th December at mariondecannière, Antwerp

Film installations and techniques, a staging of lost utopias, historical documentation and a desire to amplify human knowledge and understanding. The first solo exhibition of the enigmatic Winnie Claessens encompasses a multitude of ambitious theatrical explorations. file View the event on Facebook

Montage x Consouling on Saturday 7th December at Minus One, Ghent

Hello darkness, my old friend. Consolation descends upon fans of record label Consouling with two brand new releases. Location Minus One turns into an appropriate setting with Other Robots’ visual installations in honour of fresh produce by Ziúr and épong, the later of which recently performed live in our studios. Startling producer on the radar Ziúr will serve you a slice of her glorified and high voltage escapades deconstructing the Berlin club scene, whilst épong likewise continues to tear apart club conventions with his unhinged underground sound during a new live show. Youff’s noise transformed into an intense electronic banger will appear alongside DJ sets by The Word Radio resident Zeta Lys and Bolt Ruin. file View the event on Facebook

Salon 03 with Bok Bok on Saturday 7th December at amigo amigo, Ghent

A UK club circuit celebrity casually drops in on Ghent’s cosiest cellar. The one and only Night Slugs, founder Bok Bok, promises to live up to his reputation of delivering mind-bending DJ sets, with Salon FM residents on support duties for a night guaranteed to bring the unexpected to the dancefloor. file View the event on Facebook

21st Vinyl Record Fair on Sunday 8th December at Galerie Ravenstein, Brussels

It’s that time of the year again where record collecting fanatics descend upon Brussels’ Galerie Ravenstein for day-long adventures in digging through dusty crates looking for that elusive rarity. With stall after stall of Europe’s most delectable vendors, the fair continues to delight heavy-duty collectors who are sure to leave with a depleted bank account but a well-stocked DJ bag. file View the event on Facebook

France Sauvage, Somaticae & Suze on Sunday 8th December at Zennestraat, Brussels

A packed evening of underground and cult debauchery. Suze soothes you into Sunday evening with a gloomy soundtrack for never-ending midnight drives before Somaticae’s harsh analog experiments will shake up your dozed off weekend brains. With his solo project, Amédée de Murcia performs a brutal flirt with everything industrial and electroacoustic in the middle of the crowd. France Sauvage, who have been around the DIY circuit for over ten years, closes the night. Relying on only one rule of no rehearsal and no repertory, they take it to the next level with radical nomadic wanderings into the wondrous world of outsider art, sound collage and dark wave. file View the event on Facebook

Climate Rave on Sunday 8th December at Place Surlet de Chokier, Brussels

Let’s dance around the ivory tower in which our policy makers try to hide. Climate Express and the Climate Coalition encourage us to gather this Sunday afternoon for a human chain around the federal government and the royal palace. Full support. file View the event on Facebook

Sean Landers until 20th December at Rodolphe Janssens, Brussels

Meet “Plankboy”, the wooden outsider protagonist in the work of painter Sean Landers during the opening of his third solo exhibition at Rodolphe Janssen gallery. The motif of Plankboy and other wooden elements throughout three distinct groups of paintings show how the American conceptualist straddles the border between heavy-hearted feelings and a humorous gaze. Personal experiences are being turned into a poetic visual reflection on what it means to be an artist. file View the exhibition on Rodolphe Janssens's website

Rotor – Life under a Cherry Tree until 21st December at La Loge, Brussels

Although the Brussels-Capital region has embraced plans for a future of circular economy, design collective Rotor dares to question what the vague concepts of reuse and recyclability in the proposed models actually contribute to the urban environment. The cooperative of architects concerned with the future of building use the platform of exhibition Life Under a Cherry Tree at La Loge to explore even further the practical side of it all. Next to unfolding already existing projects on the reuse of buildings, they will foremost attempt to re-imagine abstract theory into yet other tangible social practices that might well surprise you. file View the exhibition on LA LOGE's website

Bendt Eyckermans – Blue Shadow until 5th January at Gallery Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp

Antwerp-based painter Bendt Eyckermans effortlessly captures the imagery of his generation. He adds a monumental flair to hyper realistic yet affective impressions of everyday life. Immerse yourself in outspoken colours with a touch of surrealism during the solo exhibition of this extremely promising artist. file View the exhibition on Gallery Sofie Van de Velde's website

Jean Jullien - Petrichor until 11th January 2020 at Alice Gallery, Brussels

Petrichor, the smell of rain hitting dry soil after a warm day, often recalls memories of summer and holidays long gone. The paintings of Jean Jullien rely on a similar mechanism of reminiscence. Some recognize this as an inherently post-modern trait: the effect of his work on the viewer prevails over manifesting his own artistic ego. The blissful coastal landscapes Julien shares with more than one million followers on Instagram, are utterly grounded in the here and now because of his social media presence, but also revel in contemplation and nostalgia. Limited edition prints and t-shirts will be for sale at the opening of his solo show, which highlights the curious profile of this modern day art guru oscillating between popular culture and craftsmanship. file View the exhibition on Alice Gallery's website

Messgewand until 11th January at Everyday Gallery, Antwerp

Thinking about a chair you cannot sit on? Next to a group show with artworks by Tom Volkaert, Dodi Espinosa, Jacopo Pagin and Travis Fish, opening weekend ‘Mental’ questions design thinking with Messgewand’s solo show. Different results lingering in between functional sculpture and non-functional design intuitively break open the production loop as each step of creation is considered a realization that stands on its own. A refreshing take on the mechanisms of the design world. file View the exhibition on Everyday Gallery's website

Le Corbusier > < Imi Knoebel until 25th January 2020 at OV Project, Brussels

Platform OV regularly bends the linear concept of art history into a thought-provoking conversational format by setting up a dialogue between the oeuvre of two artists situated in different disciplines. Project number 21 aims to confront the use of colour in furniture designed by world famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier with the visual works of German post-war protagonist Imi Knoebel. The latter’s series of Betoni paintings display a rather radically-inclined and minimalist approach colour, sharing similarities and contrast with Le Corbusier’s celebrated design ethos. file View the exhibition on OV Project's website

Architects at Play until 9th February at Civa, Brussels

Most adults eventually get over their childhood dreams, although it could be argued that architects stand alone in never entirely foregoing their tendencies for limitless imagination, their capacity to construct worlds beyond our wildest dreams, tapping into their inner infant forming the basis of CIVA’s latest exhibition, Architects at Play. Exploring the invention mechanisms that underpin these constructed realities, the exhibition touches upon themes such as childhood, education, urbanism, public spaces, history, architecture and creativity to retrace the history of dreamt up structures and the importance of child play. Paying tribute to the power of the imaginary, the exhibition pits the playground to the blueprint to magnificent effect. file View the exhibition on CIVA's website

Nashshibi/Skaer and noWHere until 16th February at SMAK, Ghent

Not just one, but two new exhibitions at S.M.A.K. The first one dusts up the collection of the contemporary art temple uniting artworks that relate to the idea of ‘non-places’. Think of the uncanny atmosphere in hotel rooms, empty metro stations and the museum itself. The specific temporality reining those spaces aligns with the sculptural, cinematic and painterly investigations of non-linear time characterizing the joint practice of Nashashibi/Skaer. file View the exhibition on SMAK's website

Off the Grid until 16th February 2020 at Design Museum Gent, Ghent

The magic of good graphic design is that you keep looking at it. From the iconic World Expo of 1958 until the advent of the personal computer, Belgian designers gave birth to a fair amount of graphic gems. Sarah De Bondt entered the history of Belgian graphic design with her own artistically charged gaze. Relying on ten concepts that also shape her own artistic practice - such as economy of means, seriality and social relevance - she has resurrected a captivating universe full of original printed matters and logo objects by both well-known and obscure designers whose works have never faced the crowd. file View the event on Design Museum's website

Lina Bo Bardi & Giancarlo Palanti until 16th February 2020 at Design Museum Gent, Ghent

Design lovers unite in Ghent for the biggest retrospective to date of furniture by Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. Although the multitalented Bo Bardi systematically crossed borders between disciplines in her overarching architectural endeavours, the design work is one of the most overlooked aspects of her career. This show reunites a bunch of pieces she crafted with colleague Giancarlo Palanti in the Studio d’Arte Palma (1948-1951), making it possible to overview the inherently political and social bridges she built between humankind and architecture through interior design. A collection of works by young Belgian designers who drew inspiration from her oeuvre will be simultaneously on show in DING Vitrine next door. file View the event on Design Museum's website

Roger Ballen – The Theatre of the Ballenesque until 14th March 2020 at La Centrale, Brussels

Born in New York in 1950, artist Roger Ballen has been based in South Africa for more than 30 years now, his work imbued by the country’s rich, complex and contrasting fortunes to mesmerising effect. With this exhibition, his first major show in Brussels, Ballen presents photographs, videos, in situ installations as well as some of his lesser-known graphic interventions, immersing the viewer in a made-to-measure universe – titled The Theatre of the Ballenesque – which draws heavily on his uncanny ability to unearth the underbelly of society’s absurdities through his singular eye. Alongside this ambitious show, Belgian artist Ronny Delrue will be presenting a series of photographs set in dialogue to Ballen’s work and enhanced by drawings as well as photomontages made by the two artists. A definite must-see. file View the exhibition on La Centrale's website

Punk Graphics until 26th April 2020 at ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, Brussels

New genres come and go all the time in our ever-changing musical landscape, but punk will live on forever. Not only did the punk movement leave behind a gigantic musical legacy, it also impacted graphic design and style far beyond its heyday mid seventies in the epicentres of New York and London. In its continuing quest to look at the visual side of countless different genres, ADAM – Brussels Design Museum brings together posters, album covers and other DIY memorabilia from a New York private collection that has never been brought to Europe before, reinforcing how the subculture got embedded in our contemporary visual culture. A welcomed walk down memory lane, with the added possibility of compiling a vinyl playlist with your own selection of protest songs. file View the exhibition on Adam Museum's website