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Curated by Isaline, Amaury and the Subba team
From 9 to 18 February, Flagey will be buzzing with the highly-anticipated Anima, Belgium’s leading animation festival. As always, Anima provides a programme so vast in scope, it’s nearly mind-boggling; indeed, the carefully curated selection has films from all over the world, both long and short, and including traditional animated films as well as those using cutting-edge technology to their advantage. Opening the festival is Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, the story of an Afghan girl who must dress up as a boy in order to ensure her family’s survival under Taliban rule. Anima will also have screenings in Cinematek, and all over Belgium for that matter, so stay on your toes, keep your eyes open, and let the magic of animation take you away.
Neonish letters on a candy pink background announce the new expo The Girls Next Door, now running at NEXT DOOR, the annexed and intimate art space of At The Gallery. Curator Nadia Bijl invited three young female artists: Elleke Frijters, Valgerður Sigurðardóttir and Charline Tyberghein. Frijters is a sculptor who questions the functions of practical objects from daily life by transforming them into heroic pieces. Sigurðardóttir makes drawings and sculptures recalling dreamy situations. And Tyberghein paints trompe l’oeils of banal forms and structures induced with small symbols that evoke little narratives. Although the exhibition is made by women only, it’s certainly not the intention to articulate a strong feminist message. It’s just a show with work by artists who happen to be women. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hear them mumble the occasional soft scream for attention. After all, it’s still hard for female artists to make it in the art world and to compete with their male colleagues. But they’re not pointing fingers – so boys, please don’t be afraid to visit The Girls Next Door. Everyone is very welcome.
HEIR – KÖNYNCK is the new thought-provoking exhibition by Ghent-based artist Sibran Sampers. Preserved hare skins and scalps are exhibited in display cabinets as if they were trophies hailing from an ancient and violent civilisation. However, nothing could be further from the truth: the pieces have no historical or ethnographical value. They were shaped in the present to serve in the future, like artifacts from a new (or lost?) empire waiting to be adopted by a significant head of state. By means of a totemistic imagination and a healthy amount of cultural pessimism, Sampers uses morbid beauty as the intriguing groundwork for a new kingdom. But what exactly is he preparing for? Will we be ready for it? And who will get the crown?
Samäa is an alternative hip-hop beatmaker from Liège who, for almost three years now, has released EPs and LPs on Bandcamp with a decidedly dark atmosphere. Through each release he explores the rhythms of contemporary hip hop while keeping an ambient touch that he doesn’t hesitate to sublimate with samples with eclectic influences, tinted synths and artefacts to which he alone holds the secret. His productions have found an echo in the US where emerging talents such as Sosi, Sapphire, Guizmo and KissedKilled have been seduced by the modernity of his productions. His next EP will appear on his Bandcamp before the end of January.
GM is the project of Celine and Fanny, and was created to gather people and share ideas with music and good coffee in a vibrant city. They’ve opened an espresso bar in a small house in the historic heart of Liège with a south-facing terrace closed to the Meuse. At this charming home we can drink and eat – coffee, breakfast, soups, cakes and Wi-Fi. The coffee is roasted in Ghent and the food is organic or local. For the menu, for the view, the decoration, the music, they’re favouring quality over quantity. To take a break, to work, to say hello; they welcome you from 7.30 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday from 9.30 AM to 4 PM, closed on Tuesdays and Saturdays.