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What’s virtual this week: your lockdown agenda

15:34 02/04/2020

While Stephan Vanfleteren is world famous, his portrait photography can best be appreciated by the people of Belgium, who instantly recognise famous faces like actor Jan Decleir (pictured), hip-hop singer Stromae and choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. The retrospective of Vanfleteren’s work at Antwerp’s photography museum was cut short, but several excellent short videos offer a guided tour. A new one is published every week. They are in Dutch with subtitles in English.

The Wiels art centre is putting films, video installations and artist talks on its Vimeo page as part of Wiels From Home. The films are by artists who have been exhibited in the space either when it had to shut down or previously. Everything is accessible for free and is usually in English or with English subtitles.

While movies and museums have found it relatively easy to go digital during the corona crisis, workshops are another matter. Dependent on hands-on learning and interaction, they are a tougher virtual sell. But now you can follow a local course on something other than making a facemask: The co-founder of Brussels Imagination Club will deliver Rethinking Your Career – Getting Unstuck in Five Steps live via Zoom. The video conferencing site has come into its own over the last few weeks, connecting groups around the world. 8 April 19.00-21.00

All the Time in the World

Brussels’s Millenium Film Festival, postponed to September, has launched Coups de Coeur, a selection of the programmers’ favourite movies from previous editions. Cleverly, several of them link to living in a unique situation, with titles like Recipes for Disaster and All the Time in the World (pictured). They are all free.

The Ghent Film Festival is thanking its lucky stars that it takes place in the autumn and not in the spring, like several other film festivals that have had to cancel or postpone. But it is still joining the effort by supporting My Darling Quarantine, a platform put together by the international short film community. A new selection of shorts is added every week. You can watch them all for free and vote for your favourite. Then they disappear from the platform, so see them while you can.

The Argos centre for audio-visual arts in Brussels has launched ArgosTV and will put up a film from its collection every Friday. It will be free to view for a week, when they’ll swap it out for another one. Until 3 April, you can see You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born by Canadian filmmaking duo Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby. It follows the intimate details of a woman’s life, from her birth in the 1970s to her death in the 2040s. A new movie will go up the same day, but what it is will be a surprise.

Self-portrait by Léon Spilliaert

The Royal Academy of Arts in London is, of course, closed, but it has kindly put its exhibition dedicated to 20th-century Belgian symbolist Léon Spilliaert online. Check it out to see why the Ostend painter and illustrator beguiles art critics and casual viewers alike.

While the talk with British novelist, poet and essayist Iain Sinclair had to be cancelled, Passa Porta held it anyway and recorded the whole thing. The writer known for his forays into psychogeography – the influence urban environments have on residents – is working on a book set in Brussels.

Objectif Plumes, Wallonia’s website devoted to Belgian literature, gives visitors free access to 50 short stories, poems, children’s books and graphic novels. There are also videos featuring talks by local writers (in French).

Photos, from top: Belgian actor Jan Decleir, Veurne, 2017 ©Stephan Vanfleteren, courtesy FoMu; All the Time in the World by Suzanne Crocker, image courtesy Vimeo; Léon Spilliaert, Self-portrait (cropped) ©Metropolitan Museum of Art

Written by Lisa Bradshaw