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Selected by Laura, Gabriela, Isaline, Hannes
‘When we speak of social constructs, aren’t we all drag?’ So says Antwerp-based artist Stef Van Looveren. Using video, photography and collage as his main tools, Van Looveren playfully attempts to reflect and dismantle the performativity of human behaviour, primarily within the notion of gender. ‘O’ is the third and final chapter of a triptych wherein Van Looveren dives into the vast sea of gender diversity and fluidity. Every piece of the triptych has its own colour. The first one, ‘HIR’, is the green chapter and can be described as a frisky gender-bending loop of passing figures who are exploring their fluid sexual identities in the context of a visual culture dominated by self-expression. In the second, blue chapter he brings these personalities together in an almost blue, paradisiacal sea. As opposed to the other two parts, the last and red one, ‘O’, zooms in on the body an sich. By adding different body parts in silicone, Van Looveren creates 14 new personalities and investigates the influence of these changes.
When the Belgian summer treats us rather badly once again, you can explore a brand new internet forum focused on electronic music. The basic design might throw you back to the Myspace days, but don’t be mistaken; this one’s still relevant. Founders Patten, who played Wastelands 2014, felt the need to create a space to discuss new music, the scene, fresh insights and critique. The forum is designed as a permanent archive, different from the transience of social media chatter. Dive into threads discussing the downfall of Radar Radio, Kanye sampling Kareem Lofty and corporate collabs with the underground club scene or discover new music labeled as alien dancehall and Japanese techno.
Bledarte is a Brussels-based feminist collective consisting of WOC only. Nine badass girls are looking to pave a way for themselves through art and culture; with all of them sharing foreign backgrounds, they aim to mix up the Brussels cultural scene in any way they can. Though they’ve only been around for a few months, they’re already a hot topic in town. At the moment, they’re preparing their event Bledarte Zone, which will take place on 6 and 7 July at La Vallée and Vk. There will be conferences, performances, exhibitions, workshops, concerts and a party all focusing on people of colour in art. The necessity of what Bledarte is trying to achieve is real, so keep on doing what you do best, girls!
Sorry We’re Closed kindly invites you to enter the ghoulish but funny universe of Bushwick-based artist Robert Nava where alligators kill people for no reason. With his raw, playful paintings that deal with the absurdities of everyday life as well as tragical situations, Robert Nava pushes the boundaries of seriousness and nonsense. His blunt style is reminiscent of children’s art, but unlike a child Nava adopts a varied arsenal of mediums in his pieces to implement different textures. Expect large tableaux of violent car accidents, South Park-meets-Princess Mononoke figurines, quirky mythological creatures, the back of a truck and so on, who will all leave you behind with a morbid smile on your face and lots and lots of question marks.
Nightvision.space is an Antwerp-based clothing line surfing on the current wave of lo-fi hip-hop and urban streetwear. It’s trashy, messy, edgy and we like it. Tapping perfectly into the zeitgeist of today’s trap kids, their clothes feature distorted, oversaturated design and a unique colour palette. But there’s more: through Nightvision.events they are on a quest to showcase literally every soundcloud rapper from our tiny country. And there are a lot. Think global, support local!
You might have raved your heart out at C12, but have you already heard of C5? It’s a new exhibition space located in the Gallery Horta in Brussels next to C12 where visual art meets rave culture. This space offers an experience that overflows from the ordinary. C5 takes inspiration from ‘The Holy Theatre’, the second chapter of Peter Brook’s radical theory ‘The Empty Space’. The space is shaped for duo exhibitions with an exhibition from Leo Fourdrinier and Jana Papenbroock running until 14 July.
VENSTER is a new designer furniture pop-up shop located in Antwerp. During the month of July founder Axelle Vertommen assembles the most amazing Belgian designer pieces in her shop. Because it’s a difficult economic climate for Belgian furniture designers, Axelle chose to make a change. She invites independent designers and every week there’s another artist put in the spotlight of her etalage. Pieces for sale by Dialect, LABT, Dries Otten, Vormen and Axelle’s own furniture and open until 5 August.
PLAN B is the perfect way to end your long, hot summer. It’s an open space for young emerging artists to create and show work in a not so common setting. The main goal of PLAN B is to interact and to engage, building a community in the village bound by art. There will be work by Zwarte Zusters, Jade Kerremans, William Ludwig Lutgens, buren, Oona Libens, Elias Cafmeyer, Willem De Haan, and way more. Some of the work will also be reinvented at Gouvernement in Ghent from 20 to 23 September.
If you thought the world of printmaking couldn’t get any stranger, think again: Split Channels, a Brussels-based silkscreening studio/laboratory run by Tom Split, is hell-bent on twisting the limits of the printed form. Melting, mind-bending designs parade across not only sweaters and posters, but also glass panes, modular synth cases, x-rays, and pretty much any surface that can be elevated through a trip under the squeegee. All of Split Channels’ projects can be highly customisable to varying degrees of elaborate trippiness, and workshops are also regularly scheduled for those who want to learn the basics of silkscreening and take it up a notch. Edible business cards, anyone?