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What’s on this week: 29 January to 4 February

16:27 28/01/2021
Our pick of Belgium’s best activities – online and off – for the coming week

Head to Bozar to support one of Brussels’ favourite institutions as it opens back up following the devastating fire that broke out early last week. It caused damage to the roof, concert hall and historic organ, but not to the exhibition spaces, and all but one show are back open. Be sure to check out Primordial Earth: Inhabiting the Landscape and Fulu Act: A Gaze Born Out of Movement, both of which explore contemporary Congo. Rue Ravenstein 23

Brussels’ Bâtard Festival is all about emerging artists creating work according to a bastard analogy – daring, different, political, maybe a little uncomfortable. Different artistic practices merge to create a wildly eclectic programme. It’s fully online this year. 3-6 February

Ghent concert hall Handelsbeurs is livestreaming a bunch of concerts over the next several weeks. Next up are the ambient, experimental sounds of drummer-guitar trio Cram Ration. 30 January 20.15

Christoph and Julian Prégardien

La Monnaie is taking to the internet to offer its 2021 programme. There are classical concerts as well as concert performances of planned operas. Kicking it all off are German father-and-son tenors Christoph and Julian Prégardien performing works by Mozart and Schubert, among others, and accompanied by pianist Michael Gees. 3 February 20.00

Theatre National had to cancel the performance of Skrik by Brussels’ artist Elisabeth Woronoff, but is going ahead with the conference paired with the piece about a woman facing buried memories of incest. Incest, Traumatic Memory, Resilience and Support for Victims invites local psychologists, authors, social workers and artists to discuss a subject still too-often seen as taboo. (In French) 30 January 14.00

A painting by Miss Van, part of the exhibition Bal Masque

With a wink to our current situation as well as the month of Carnival, Ruby Gallery presents the group show Bal Masqué, with works by European street artists and local painters. Masks stand central, whether for religious rites, to playfully hide our identities, or for something altogether more sinister. Until 21 March

Brussels Philharmonic continues its livestreamed 2021 concert series with WA Mozart, a programme including the Overture from La Clemenza di Tito, Exsultate, jubilate and the Linz Symphony. 29 January 20.00

Image from the exhibition Verisimilitude at Mima

What would art look like the day after a global disaster? Tapping into the anxiety we feel as the Covid-19 crisis makes us question a future based on solidarity, the new exhibition Verisimilitude at the Mima imagines a future that fantasizes about its past. 31 January to 30 May, Quai du Hainaut 39

The Critical Mass collective bike ride continues, demonstrating how many cyclists are taking to Brussels streets and that infrastructure is needed to keep them safe. Across central Brussels, 29 January 18.00

Book now: Friday Late at Villa Empain invites visitors to start their last weekend of the month by checking out the current exhibitions to DJ beats. It’s so popular, it sells out every month, so book 26 February now. Last Friday of the month, 18.00-21.00

Image from the Real Bodies exposition

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

Due to popular demand, the exhibition Real Bodies has been extended into May. See 20 examples of perfectly preserved bodies, from muscles to skeletons to organs. A process called plastination allows the bodies to be dissected and posed in all kinds of ways. The show also includes dozens of separate specimens and galleries dedicated to various bodily functions, such as the heart, movement and thinking. Until 24 May, Sportpaleis Hospitality Center, Slachthuislaan, Antwerp

Photos, from top: ©Colin Delfose, Pape Noir, Ndaku Ya la Vie est Belle, 2020; ©Hans Morren; ©Miss Van/courtesy Ruby Gallery; courtesy Mima; courtesy Real Bodies/Sportpaleis

Written by Lisa Bradshaw