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What’s on this week: 19-25 March

18:25 18/03/2021
Our pick of Brussels’ best activities – online and off – for the coming week

The new Deodato Gallery, dedicated to contemporary and urban art, is opening with a splash: Banksy: The Brussels Show includes originals on paper and canvas of some of the anonymous artist’s most famous works. See, for instance, the triptych of ‘Rage, Flower Thrower’, ‘Love Rat’ and ‘No Ball Games’. 25 March to 22 May, Rue Saint-Jean 28

In Chaise. Stoel. Chair. Defining Design, one of the most common pieces of furniture in the world – the humble chair – is examined through and through. Brussels Design Museum examines 100 chairs over the last 100 years – its design and evolution, progress and adaptations. You will  never say “it’s only a chair” ever, ever again. 24 March to 29 August

The Africa Museum in Tervuren hosts Museum Talks, a lively monthly discussion on something pertaining to its collection, its research or its co-operation with artists. Next up is Finding Dr Livingstone, a talk in English with historian and author Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi about the famous colonial explorer Henry Morton Stanley. 25 March 12.30-13.30

 Aleksandra Lun

The Passa Porta Festival is back, celebrating literature and poetry in multiple languages. Authors from around the globe gather – online this year, of course – to read and talk about their own work (or someone else’s), to tell stories and to debate the state of the written word today. Highlights include City of Stories, in which you can order a story to be delivered to your home, and New Voices, which introduces us to expat writers – often better known in their home countries than here (like Aleksandra Lun, pictured). Most of the events are free, and some have been recorded in advance and subtitled in one or more languages. 21-28 March 

The Centrale contemporary art centre presents the second part of the Multipli.City tryptic. The first was five years ago when the centre turned 10. For its 15th birthday, it offers BXL Universel II Multipli.City, a months-long programme of activities, including exhibitions, talks, film and nocturnes that examine how art and culture reflect and make possible the multiple ways of existing in the city and in the world. 25 March to 12 September, Place Sainte-Catherine 44

 Class of students at P.A.R.T.S.

Delphine Hesters, a cultural policy advisor, has made a seven-part podcast about students entering one of the most prestigious dance schools in the world: P.A.R.T.S. in Forest. Of 1,000 applicants, only about 40 are chosen to study at P.A.R.T.S. every year. They leave home and move across the world to Brussels to spend the most intense, formative years of their lives together. Five of them offer remarkably candid portraits of who they are and from where they come – from the capital of New Zealand to the favelas of Brazil. Give it a listen.

ING bank is offering a free webinar for expats looking to buy a home. The bank is joined by a notary and real estate agent for a discussion on the process of buying a house or apartment and how to go about getting a mortgage. 25 March 18.00-19.30

Photograph by Renaud Masson at the Intramuros exhibition

Three photography series carried out in the surreal spring of 2020 take over Galerie VerhaerenIntramuros includes work by photographers in Belgium and Haiti, who adapted their work to the restrictions of the lockdowns, getting creative with techniques and introspective themes. Until 18 April, Rue Grates 7 (Watermael-Boitsfort)

ULB hosts Temporary Lockdown Museum, a collection of hundreds of objects, drawings, stories, photos, montages and music clips obtained from its professors, staff and students that reflect their experience of lockdown. Running from humour to melancholy to dreams and the notion of escape, the collection reflects the many sides of an unexpected and truly bizarre moment in history. Until autumn 2021, Salle Allende, Building F1, ULB, Avenue Paul Héger (Ixelles)

 1078 Blue Skies, 4432 Days


Anton Kusters’ remarkable installation 1078 Blue Skies, 4432 Days saw the Belgian artist hunt down all 1,078 sites that were concentration or extermination camps in the 1930s and ’40s. He stood on the sites and took Polaroid photographs of the sky. He then used an old typewriter to stamp each one with the GPS co-ordinates and the estimated number of deaths at each location. It is not only a poignant ode to the freedom symbolised by blue skies but a valuable  archive of sites that were central to one of humankind’s greatest atrocities. Until 30 May, C-Mine, C-Mine 10, Genk

Ghent’s museum of psychiatry presents Altered States, an exhibition of photography and video by Danish artist Joachim Koester focused on the use of mind-altering substances. He investigates the context in which drugs – both legal and otherwise – are grown, developed, traded and used but also the mystical side of them, from shamans to hippies. 20 March to 13 June, Jozef Guislainstraat 43, Ghent

Photos, from top: ©Banksy, courtesy Deodato Art; ©Merlijn Van Doomernik, courtesy Passa Porta; ©Anne Van Aerschot, Rosas photographer; ©Renaud Masson, “The Day Before” (cropped); ©Anton Kusters/photo by Selma Gurbuz (cropped)


Written by Lisa Bradshaw