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What’s on this week: 13-19 October

Dressing (c)Cornelius Annor Madwendwen, courtesy MARUANI MERCIER Gallery
12:01 12/10/2023
The autumn exhibition season is well underway with art, architecture, design all under the spotlight. Plus a variety of concerts and a shower of festivals for all ages.

Clothes make the man, they say, although this phenomenon began to apply much more to women when they entered the workforce. The exhibition Dressing looks at our relationship to clothing – and to other people’s clothing – while mixing contemporary works by 15 artists with historical garments from the 19th and 20th centuries. Although this focus on assumptions and value placed on the cloth we stick on our backs is historically and visually interesting, the presentation is reinforced by being staged at the beautiful Maison Des Arts, a mansion where wardrobes seem right at home. Until 26 November, Chaussée de Haecht 147 (Schaerbeek)

Palais Stoclet

Closing the Year of Art Nouveau in style is this major exhibition by the Austrian architect and designer responsible for Brussels’ mythical Stoclet Palace (pictured). Jozef Hoffmann: Falling for Beauty is a timely retrospective of the multi-talented artist and artisan. It focuses on the timeless beauty of his designs with displays of furniture, objects, designs, textiles and documents presented in some of the newly-renovated spaces of the Art & History Museum. Until 14 April, Cinquantenaire Park 10

Christophe Gevers, Design Museum Brussels (c) BE CULTURE7

“I became a designer because I was interested in the present, which is the future and the past out of date.” This intriguing statement by 20th century Belgian designer and interior architect Christophe Gevers offers a hint about his priority to work with materials that would stand the test of time – either remaining the same or changing into something equally handsome. He is responsible for many Brussels interiors, including brasseries and banks. The exhibition The Architecture of the Detail examines this approach, offering an insight into Gever’s most prolific period, from 1960 to 1980. Until 10 March, Design Museum Brussels, Place de Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Slow Ways

The third edition of the Slow Ways Weekend invites walkers to stroll through the garden cities of the capital.  Discover hidden alleys, secret paths, footbridges and overlooked tunnels via 20 guided tours in some 12 municipalities. The theme of this year’s event aimed at promoting pedestrian mobility is ‘slow paths’. 14-15 October, across Brussels


Three days of free science fun for all ages! That’s the programme at the I Love Science Festival this weekend with more than 60 interactive workshops, eight science trucks and a host of outdoor activities. The diversity of the topics promises to be informative and entertaining with subjects ranging from robotics and AI to climate solutions and VR. Special guests are Belgian astronauts Dirk Frimout and Frank De Winne, and for the first time, the Women Award in Technology & Science will be presented. 13-15 October, Tour & Taxis Sheds 1 & 2, Avenue du Port 86c


Belgium’s candidate for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest Mustii takes to the AB stage for his fourth show at the Brussels concert hall. The Brussels singer-songwriter and actor is a talented and lively performer so don’t miss this opportunity to see him already in action. 19 October (doors 19.00), Ancienne Belgique, Boulevard Anspach 110

Writers Festival Belgium

The second edition of literary gathering Writers Festival of Belgium is themed, love, music and politics. Find out more in a series of author talks and workshops, screenings, book sales and nature and poetry walk. Celebrating the written word at the heart of Europe, the event is also a festive affair with children’s entertainment and evening music. Check out the programme for the full line-up of events. 13-15 October, Press Club Brussels, Rue Froissart 95 (Etterbeek)

Douche Flux

Homeless charity DoucheFLUX honours 15 women who have experience of living on the streets of the capital in the immersive exhibition Intime, Estime. A series of multidisciplinary works, such as art and sound installations, photos and videos all trace their stories. Staged at the BRASS cultural centre, the show is the result of a collaborative project with the women. Until 15 October, Avenue Van Volxem 364 (Forest)
Vulves assassines

The 22nd edition of the annual multidisciplinary arts gathering, Festival des Libertés, adopts the theme of Domination. With a mission to be equally political, artistic, subversive and festive, the seasonal gathering also looks at environmental issues among its exploration of freedom. The programme at Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles encompasses theatre, concerts, documentary screenings, exhibitions, talks and DJ sets (Vulves Assassins, pictured). Until 21 October, Boulevard Émile Jacqmain 111-115

Bus Stops, Erevan-Parakar, Armenia, 2004, gelatin silver print(c) Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

Fondation A Stichting presents another fascinating exhibition in Niemandslicht, a journey through the work of German conceptual photographer Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. Nine series each focus on the relationship between architecture, the environment and the passage of time, affected by human action or natural phenomena. Together, these black-and-white photographs traverse vast expanses anchored by horizon lines, while exploring the complex bond between landscape and human civilization. Until 17 December, Avenue Van Volxem 304 (Forest)

Concerts du Midi (c)Jean-Pol Lejeune, Visit Brussels

If you live or work downtown, don’t hesitate to drop in to the Musical Instruments Museum for Concerts De Midi. The lunchtime performances on Thursdays feature chamber music, from baroque to contemporary, with an emphasis on Belgian composers. Coming up are Belgian concert pianist Johan Schmidt performing Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Liszt and French-Belgian Music for Flute and Piano, with Marc Grauwels on the former and Dalia Ouziel on the latter. Until 2 May 2024, Montagne de la Cour 2

Connecting - KANAL

Online relationships are omnipresent but how can we inhabit this new universe? Tracing the links between physical reality and the digital world, eight artists each offer their own interpretation of this pertinent topic in the exhibition Connecting. KANAL-Centre Pompidou’s temporary programme is committed to exploring contemporary issues while waiting for the future landmark museum of modern and contemporary art to open in 2025. Until 3 December, K1 Avenue du Port 1


For its second and final weekend, the Brussels Biennale of Eclectic Architecture tours the municipalities of Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Etterbeek and Anderlecht. Showcasing the capital’s lesser-known architectural heritage in open-door tours and events, it highlights the ‘golden age’ of the eclectic movement (1840-1914) that emerged after Belgium’s independence as a nation. The movement was characterised by a free and creative style that brought together art, history and innovation. Reservations recommended. Until 15 October, across Brussels

See You After the Break (c)Conservamus

The desperately needed renovations to saved the Royal Conservatory are finally going to happen – after literally decades of in-fighting among governmental bodies and heritage organisations about who should pay for what. It will shut next summer for some four years for a complete restoration of its magnificent 19th century halls, library and organ. Until then, there’s See You After the Break, a monthly concert series featuring classical, jazz, contemporary, pop and rocks musicians. 19 October to 22 June, Rue de la Régence 30

Museum Night Fever

Book now  Museum Night Fever is an autumn highlight in the capital. With one ticket, you can access 34 museums with endless fun entertainment cooked up by each one for the evening. Music, food and performance are all on the programme, described ‘crazy’ by organisers. A shuttle bus is conveniently on hand to get you from one venue to the other. Pre-sale standard tickets (until 20 October) are priced at €15 or €25 for standard ticket + after party. 23 October, across Brussels



Join the Brussels Women’s Club for this leisurely two-hour stroll Leuven in a Nutshell of the Flemish Brabant capital. Professional guide Anne Brugmans will be leading the walk that is open to guests and non-members. Marvel at the town hall, one of the most stunning gothic buildings in the world, wander along St Peter’s Church, the university hall and the pubs lining the old market, and hear stories and anecdotes about the famous - and less well-known - people who have left their mark on the historic city. 17 October 9:45-12:00, Leuven 

Ostend Biennial (c)Nick Decombe Fotografie

Strolling through Ostend, it’s impossible not to notice this second edition of the International Photo Biennial. Outdoor installations sport quirky, dreamy or otherwise eye-opening photographs. There are also several indoor shows by more than 30 international photographers. The tagline (In)Fluence refers to how photography is connected to other visual arts, like painting and performance. Until 12 November, across Ostend

This Is Us Marlene Dumas - Blind Joy (c)M HKA

Flanders’ four biggest institutes of contemporary art – SMAK, Mu.ZEE, M HKA and M Leuven – agreed to loan their top pieces to Z33 in Hasselt for the exhibition This is Us. This greatest hits show brings together works by nearly 50 artists, half of whom live and work in Belgium. It is the cornerstone of a project made up of three exhibitions that, in their own way, explore the concept of arts and museums as learning environments. Until 18 February, Bonnefantenstraat 1, HasseltKrollSadly forever topical, the Cité Miroir’s latest exhibition focuses on human rights through the lens of comic strip. Enjeux Humains presents 100 works by the international Cartooning for Peace network. With humour, insolence, emotion and sometimes seriousness, the show depicts the world's news by well-known European press cartoonists. They include Belgians, Kroll (pictured), Cost, Lectrr, Cécile Bertrand, Marec and Vadot. Until 28 January, Place Xavier-Neujean 22, Liège


The Walloon capital is a top destination for nature and animals lovers over the next 10 days. Offering a packed programme of films, amateur and professional, the International Nature Namur Festival  provides a unique viewing experience into the animal kingdom. They compete in three cinematographic competitions while a photo exhibition (pictured) is staged in a Nature Village at the citadel (Terra Nova) from 19 to 22 October along with numerous other related photo and nature activities. Screenings are at the festival hub, Le Delta. 13-22 October, Le Delta, Namur

Fest Nam demain

Fill your baskets with local produce at this farmers market, just one of the events at the second edition of Festival Namur Demain (13-15 October) this weekend. Some 45 producers from food cooperatives Paysans Artisans will be selling their wares. Musical entertainment, kids’ activities, a bar selling local beers and a spot for light snacks all add to the festive occasion over the weekend. In total, the festival offers some 60 events, including talks, shows, screenings, exhibitions and stands. 15 October 9.00-17.00, Place d’Armes, Namur

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) Dressing ©Cornelius Annor Madwendwen, courtesy Maruani Mercier Gallery; Josef Hoffmann, Stoclet House, Brussels, 1905-1911, street façade on the Avenue de Tervueren, ©MAK; Christophe Gevers, Design Museum Brussels ©Be Culture; Slow Ways Weekend: Nadine walks; © courtesy i love science; Bus Stops, Erevan-Parakar, Armenia, 2004 ©Ursula Schulz-Dornburg; Concerts du Midi ©Jean-Pol Lejeune, Visit Brussels; BEAF: The Faculty. Ancienne école des vétérinaires; Ostend Biennial ©)Nick Decombe Fotografie; This Is Us Marlene Dumas - Blind Joy ©M HKA; Cité Miroir: ©Kroll (Belgium), Cartooning for Peace; Expositions photos à la Citadelle © « FINN » © Photo : Vincent Lorent

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw