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Culture beat – September 12

19:13 12/09/2014
Art, design, music, comedy and networking… Who ever said Brussels was boring!

Brussels Art Days was launched in 2008 and the seventh edition this weekend marks the re-opening of 37 of the capital’s contemporary art galleries around the city centre. In Tour & Taxis, Brussels Design Market specialises in mid- to late-20th century furniture and deco. You’ll find items from a number of European countries and the US. The indoor vintage design market is open to professionals on Saturday, from 14.00-18.00 and the general public, from 9.30-18.00.

Flagey teams up with Cinematek and the Brussels Philharmonic for Apertura, kicking off its new cultural season with evenings of film and music, from Friday until Monday. Tonight’s screening is Italian classic Viaggio in Italia by Roberto Rossellini at Flagey at 20.15.

The 1954 film starring Ingrid Bergman was the inspiration for visual artist Ana Torfs’ installation Displacement, part of the retrospective Echolalia, that has just opened in Wiels. The former brewery in Forest is staging the multi-layered and dense show that features six multimedia exhibitions, many of them never seen before in her home country. One – The Parrot & the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria – is a world première. The unifying theme of the exhibition is historical and cultural journeys into Europe and an exploration of relationship with the rest of the world. Torfs has developed a love for travel in recent years and each installation explores voyages through the ages. They include Columbus’s New World discoveries, to colonial trade and the exotic plants that were brought back to Europe by botanists and renamed as part of a linguistic imperialism (The Family Plot). A series of hanging tapestries, ‘Txt (Engine of Wandering Worlds)’, pictured, has as its starting point the words of Jonathan Swift’s heroic character Gulliver. Each crafted work is a fictional computer with image banks of paintings, historical cities and foreign trade. Another intriguing exhibit is (…) Stain (…), 2012, which features display cases of stained glass in a colour encyclopaedia. The title is ambiguous and only works in English (stain meaning both dye and blemish). Each case is a sample book of dyes which reveals the industrial processes that international chemical companied created to varying effect, including explosives and World War One gas. The show runs until December 14. Allow a few hours to visit to listen to all the narrative recordings.

Jazz fans are in for a treat with concerts by a diverse range of musicians and bands in Marni Jazz, at Théâtre Marni until September 20. This year’s edition has a special focus on the trombone, featuring Israeli trombonist Reut Regev, Why Not Samba and Wild Boar & Bull, among others.

UK comedy circuit Stand Up Brussels returns on September 20 with a solo show by Mark Thomas. The Channel 4 star is on a mischief-making mission to commit ‘100 Acts of Minor Dissent’ in the space of one year. You have been warned! Thomas will be appearing at Théâtre 140 in Schaerbeek at 20.30. As usual, a pre-show Indian buffet is available for €12.

The international professional club Full Circle launches its second season with an introductory evening on September 22. Providing a taster of its 2014-2015 programme, six speakers showcase upcoming events. They include a milliner to the Royals, a philosopher with a radical take on income, a fascinating agricultural engineer turned wine specialist, a visionary and influential urbanist-architect, a photographer with an early morning story, and a prominent business strategist on staying focused. The social get-together includes drinks and canapés. Full Circle is one of the more imaginative and creative networking organisations in the capital. It hosts a variety of events, dinners and debates. Venues vary from exhibition spaces and art galleries to surprising locations. Adding to the intrigue: members are only informed of where each event is taking place 48 hours in advance.