Tag Archives: exhibition

2013 Resolutions

Well hello there! And happy (belated) New Year all. After a month off from blogging I’m slowly making my way out of my holiday coma (i.e. hiatus from all things digital) and getting back to life, including a new job I’m starting today (!). So to kick off this year on the right foot, I thought about making a few resolutions. Last year I made three on this blog, so let’s take a quick review of how I did before making any new ones.

  • Keep writing – Check! Whoo, glad I did at least one of these.
  • Explore more – Sort of. More to come on this in a minute.
  • Stop eating frites – Complete fail, but hey if you live in Brussels, is this really even an option?

For 2013 I’m going to take a slightly different approach. Instead of resolutions in the traditional sense, I’ve decided to make a list of new things to try in Brussels. Even after more than 10 years of living in this fine city, there are still a few things that I’ve never managed to do. So here we go.

#1 Get up early enough on a Saturday morning (or stay up late enough the night before) to go to the Mabru market in Laeken. I love all the different neighborhood markets in Brussels, but this is the ultimate one. Something like 40,000 square meters of space, with 150 vendors selling produce, flowers, meat, fish, cheese, etc. I have to admit that I’ve actually listed this as something to try a while back and never got around to it. 2013 will be the year.

Mabru market

#2 Track down the Keep on Toasting food truck and have a gourmet croquet monsieur. It’s completely shameful that I haven’t done this yet so will get on it right away. Hey, I don’t need to tell myself twice to eat something yummy! Ok that’s kind of an easy one.:)

#3 Go up to the top of the Porte de Hal tower for a different view of Brussels.

Porte de Halle

#4 Bid on something at Art Truc Troc. I’ve been to this very rather unique art show before but never had the courage to actually place a bid on an item. This year’s exhibition will be 1-3 February at BOZAR.

#5 Go for a run in Bois de la Cambre. Ok this may seem kind of lame. I’m not completely adverse to jogging, I’ve made laps around Cinquantenaire, Etangs d’Ixelles and Parc de Bruxelles, but have never made it for a loop around the Bois. More inspiration on running routes in Brussels see here, here and here.

#6 Take visiting friends on a bike tour of Brussels.

Bike Tour

#7 Go to a jazz concert with the husband. I’ve had the chance to hear some really good jazz in Brussels, both at the Music Village and various concerts at Flagey, but sadly the husband has never been able to join. This sounds like a perfect date night for 2013. Some of my picks on where to go.

Ok that’s a bit of a long list, but hopefully I can pull it off and that it’s also given you a few ideas on some things to try.

What else would be on your to do list for Brussels in 2013? Share your suggestions!

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Isaac Cordal @ Harlan Levey Projects

Last week I joined an evening hosted by the American Brussels Network at Harlan Levey Projects (HLP), a gallery in the Dansaert area, to see the works of Spanish-born artist Isaac Cordal. I first discovered Isaac’s unique form of sculpture back when I wrote a post about street art in Brussels. Although his miniature installations are set mostly in urban landscapes, they are much more than your average form of street art. Isaac sculpts small statues from clay, mainly businessmen, makes silicone molds of each, and finally casts them in cement. He then positions them alone or in groups to form powerful images he captures on film. The effect is moving, provocative and sad, with a touch of dark humor.

Isaac Cordal

Isaac’s current exhibition at HLP is entitled ‘Prestige’, after the oil spill off the coast of Spain which polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline. The show includes new works and a full look at his project ‘Cement Eclipses: Small Interventions in the Big City’, which has been previously exhibited in public locations and art spaces around Europe. Isaac has recreated one of his installations from the series Waiting for Climate Change that portrays somber-faced men in suits with life preservers on the beach. I find it fascinating the way he manages for the figurines to appear life-size among the landscapes he photographs.

Isaac Cordal

Isaac gave us a brief tour of the exhibition, explaining the concept behind his work and the political and social commentary he hopes to convey. Works include a family sitting on a sofa each individually immersed in a mobile device, a group of stockbrokers on the verge of falling off a cliff and my favorite, a lone man sitting in the corner looking down a hole in the floor (be sure to look for him as he’s easy to miss!). There is also a screen showing several of Isaac’s previous works in cities including Brussels, London, Berlin, Riga, Zagreb, Malaga, Vienna and Barcelona.

Isaac Cordal

The exhibition opened back in November and has been extended to 9 January 2013. Many of the works, including prints of many of Isaac’s previous photos, are for sale at the gallery (priced under €100). You can also purchase a copy of his book Cement Eclipses, a great collection of photos from the series (€20). If you’re interested to check out more of Isaac’s work, see the Street Art Belgium page on him or read this Agenda Magazine article.  

Isaac Cordal

The HLP gallery is run by American Harlan who works with a small selection of contemporary artists to hold solo and group exhibitions, performances and workshops. HLP also participates in other activities including local events like Downtown Gallery Days, lectures and an annual exhibition with The United Nations. See more about upcoming events on the website.

37 Rue Léon Lepage, 1000 Brussels
Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 1-7pm and by appointment 

Images via Street Art London and Agenda Magazine.

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Worbz Vintage – Photography Exhibition

A couple months back I had the chance to visit the Vintage Hotel (45 Rue Dejoncker), a cool spot to sleep, grab a drink or just hang out. And now there’s one more reason to stop by – the art.

This weekend, the hotel will host a contemporary photography exhibition and sale organized by Worbz, a platform working to highlight emerging artists from Belgium and across Europe. This is their second exhibition held in Brussels and will aim to offer young photographers a unique way show their work.

With the hotel as the setting, the theme of the exhibition is ‘vintage’, interpreted by each artist in their own way. The works will be displayed throughout the hotel, providing a very different backdrop than the usual gallery. There are 13 artists selected for the show, coming from Belgium, France, Iceland, China, Lebanon and Australia. All of the photographs will also be for sale at “affordable prices” (according to the website this means less than €1000).

The exhibition opens this evening with a vernissage from 6:30 to 10pm. It continues Friday from 10am to 9pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm (VIP night that evening by invitation only), and Sunday 11:30 to 5pm. There’s even a special brunch on Sunday.

You can browse many more photos from the artists in this exhibition and from other Worbz projects on their website. Just scroll down the homepage for a selection. You can also check them out on Facebook and Pinterest.

Images via Worbz.

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Artsy weekend

Wow, September went fast! I can’t believe it’s almost the first weekend in October already. The days are noticeably shorter and cooler, and inevitably wetter as well. But don’t despair, this weekend brings lots of great artsy events to Brussels to help usher in the change of seasons. Plus, most of them are indoors so you can stay dry!

First up, Art on Paper is an exhibition dedicated to drawing. Initiated by Brussels gallery owners Pierre Hallet and Michel Culot, the event will feature contemporary drawings from some forty Belgian and international galleries. It’s held at the White Hotel (212 Avenue Louise), providing a small and intimate setting for discovering some unique works. For this third edition, the event includes a special showing of a paper dress by artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. She does amazing work so it’s definitely worth stopping by to see this (or visit her gallery and studio). The exhibition opens tonight and continues through Sunday, 7 October. The entry cost is €8.

Next on the list is fotoforever, an art fair showcasing contemporary photography and video. Taking place from 4 to 7 October, the fair will include works from 60 European galleries. Also in its third year, fotofever aims to show the diversity of photography and video art of today while also supporting young artists. The event will take place at Tour & Taxis and admission is €12 (or €9 if purchased in advance online). There are several special events, including a collection of 30 photographs all around the theme of the eye, fototalks where you can meet professional artists and a party on Friday evening at Magic Mirrors (next to Tour & Taxis). And if you don’t make it this weekend, you can browse and buy works online after the event until 18 November.

And last, but definitely not least, Nuit Blanche (which means “sleepless night” or “white night” in French) is happening this Saturday. For the 10th anniversary, this all night arts festival aims at (re)discovering or (re)conquering the urban environment from a new perspective. As every year, there will be loads of artistic, musical and creative happenings going on all night. See the full program here. Events will concentrate in the area from Mont des Arts to Place de la Chapelle, all free of charge, and kick off around 7pm. There will also be several after-parties around town (you can buy pre-sale tickets online as of €8).

Images via Art on Paper, fotofever and Nuit Blanche.

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