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15 reasons to enjoy Nuit Blanche in Brussels this weekend

10:12 01/10/2019

Ever with its finger on the pulse, Brussels’ annual all-night extravaganza Nuit Blanche looks at the relationship between humans and nature this year – namely the former’s impact on the latter.

The 17th edition this Saturday is entitled Human Nature, and is focusing on the Anthropocene, the era which begins with the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems.

This year the activity is in Tour & Taxis and its immediate neighbourhood. The super-cool event sees a wide variety of 15 in-situ artistic projects, including performances and multi-media projections, which will question our relations with our environment.

Highlights

  1. Le Bureau Electronique from Belgium creates a concert/installation called Doom. Electronic music in a devastated world of rusting automobiles and liberated wildlife.

  2. From the Netherlands, Dries Verhoeven presents Homo Desperatus, 44 display cases containing models of examples of human misery such as a collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh. Some 70,000 ants inhabit these miniature reproductions.

  3. Jeanne Debarsy (Belgium) and Zoé Suliko (France) offer the installation Listen to the Pulse, a sound immersion into the heart of the missions of Doctors without Borders.

  4. Michael Pinsky’s L’Eau qui Dort is an installation on the surface of the canal, with objects such as bikes, shopping carts and refrigerators. The artist, helped by divers and cranes in his native UK, dredged the objects from watery graves to exhibit them in an aquamarine light and accompanied by a raucus soundtrack created by the objects themselves.

  5. Belgian artist Kris Verdonck, an artist working in architecture, visual arts and theatre, brings us an installation/performance called Mass #2 in which he has created four landscapes that constantly change independently of one another, creating a hypnotic event. Hear our interview with him below.

  6. Cegos is the Brazilian performance group Desvio Coletivo’s take on the enslavement of work and involves participants in fancy business clothes but also covered in clay and blindfolded.

  7. From France, Thomas Garnier brings us Cénotaphe 0, a rumination on the immediate obsolescence of so much architecture, an installation that continually assembles and demolishes sculptural elements made of concrete.

  8. The installation/performance Crisàlida by Spanish group Antes Collado involves a giant terrarium in which we witness the metamorphosis of a strange moth-like man, a metaphor for the fragility of the human species.

  9. Swiss-Belgian American artist Moni Wespi presents Mermaid Queen, a subtle act of transformation on the edge between immobility and micro-movement.

  10. Canadian Darren O’Donnell leads us on Nightwalks with Teenagers (pictured above), in which local youth plan, design and conduct night walks in the city.

  11. The UK’s Jony Easterby creates Remnant Ecologies (pictured top), an artistic response to the growing concern surrounding our disconnection with and retrenchment from the natural world.

  12. (La)Horde, from France, presents The Master’s Tool, a film based on the fresco in four performative installation paintings made during Nuit Blanche Paris 2017.

  13. Berlin-based Italian artist Marco Barotti brings us The Woodpeckers, mechanical birds he designed which react in real time to waves of mobile communication to create a unique acoustic composition.

  14. French & Mottershead from the UK have created the audio walk Woodland, in which visitors with headphones will lie on the ground surrounded by dead leaves for a self-portrait of the body after death.

  15. Brussels-based Italian artist Pietro Marullo presents a performance mixing dance and visual arts entitled WRECK, in which dancers interact with a gigantic sculpture made from dark aerial matter which sucks them in and spits them out.

Nuit Blanche, 5 October 19.00-03.00, in and around Tour & Taxis

Written by Richard Harris