Ready to blossom and overgrow the past
Major exhibitions, performances, DJs, dance, film, eccentric animations, guided tours, an electro-beat filled after-party: February means MNF in Brussels. On Saturday, 23 February, from 7pm until 1 am, 30 museums in the vibrant city of Brussels invite you to watch about a thousand young talents to give you a night you’ll never forget. Laura Herman, freelance writer and curator at La Loge, has listed her must-sees for you.
Written by Laura Herman
Until 31 Mar
Over the past couple of years, CIVA has focussed on the complex political, economic, and social conditions of Brussels through the lens of its compelling architecture archive. With Designed Landscapes, the foundation sheds light on the Brussels’ landscape, its history of parks and public gardens between 1775 and now, many of them forgotten or overlooked. While landscape and garden design is often brushed aside as superfluous or unserious as opposed to city planning and architecture, the exhibition has set out to prove otherwise. Designed Landscapes is accompanied by a fantastic public programme including a lecture by the exceptional French gardener Gilles Clément on the agency of living things in designing the landscape.
Until 28 April
You might have encountered Liège-born Benoît Platéus’s work in the spacious art deco entrance hall of Bozar, where his collection of large frottages functioned as a contemporary echo of the work of Fernand Léger. Now, his exhibition One Inch Off unites old and new works which can be all read against the history of images and the shift from the analogue to the digital. Curated by Devrim Bayar and accompanied by a catalogue designed by Boy Vereecken, the solo exhibition brings together a diverse collection of works – photographs, frottages, paintings and a brilliant video – displayed across two floors.
Until 28 April
While a wave of figurative painters poses questions about how we present the body, photography has returned to the age-old genre of portraiture to prompt questions around identity, biography and self-representation. After Histories of a Picture to Come, the first exhibition in a cycle about the relation between photographic and moving images, it only comes logically for Argos to stage a show focussing on a genre that continues to entice the viewer. While the subject matter seems inexhaustive, Look at me brings together remarkable artists, including Jacques Lennep, Valérie Mannaerts, Angel Marcos, Ria Pacquée, Shely Silver and Sarah Vanagt, who each bring different perspectives on the person depicted in front and behind the camera.
Until 28 May
Using the computer as her main tool, Belgian artist Anouk De Clercq creates sophisticated audio-visual compositions, which could be described as abstract landscapes or utopian visions of the future, slowly evolving in time and space. Bozar commissioned De Clercq to develop a new piece in response to the work of the relatively unknown Renaissance artist Bernard Van Orley, a contemporary of Dürer and Raphael. De Clercq devised a sonorous environment reminiscent of 16th-century music composed in collaboration with the Institute for Systematic Musicology (IPEM) at Ghent University and the experimental music creator Vessel.
Selecting this project was whispered in my ear like a soft wind of love, though having recently read Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari’s book on the singularity, algorithmic man and the technological enhancement of the human body, my curiosity was genuinely raised. H++ at Halles Saint-Gery deals exactly with those topics and I’m curious to see how it plays out. Through a collective installation, four artists complicate and reflect on the future of the human, artificial intelligence and transhumanism – the perennial human quest for godhood.
Museum Night Fever, 23 Feb, various locations, Brussels
Free for members – ***RESERVATIONS REQUIRED***
Members need to mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
before 21/02 midnight to get their free voucher.