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What’s on this week: 14-20 October

12:30 13/10/2022
Don’t miss our selection of top-flight art, classical music, film festivals and family-friendly events

Belgium contributes to the art world’s ‘Picasso Celebration 1973-2023’ with Picasso & Abstraction, tracing the artist’s often complex relationship with the major 20th-century art movement. The collaboration with the Musée National Picasso-Paris is a fitting contribution to the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death being marked across Europe and the US. More than 140 works attest to his swings between abstraction and the figurative over the decades, as he pursued a creative need for reinvention. From experiments during his early cubism phase, the Spanish painter continued to toy with abstract art during his prolific career. The museum also presents parallel shows with works by contemporary artists Isabelle de Borchgrave, Jean-Pierre Ghysels and Prune Nourry. 14 October to 12 February, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Rue de la Regence 3
(c)Courtesy I Love Science

Even if you don’t love science now, you might come away from the free I Love Science Festival with a different outlook. Drones, robots and AI keep things lively as the whole family can take part in their choice of dozens of activities, from using machines made of Lego to visiting the museum of illusions to getting your feet wet at Funny Fluids. Space, humans, creativity, the environment, mathematics – all aspects of science and technology have a space here. 15 & 16 October, Tour & Taxis Sheds 1 & 2, Avenue du Port 86c

Blue Marble (c)Courtesy Iselp

“Absence is terrifying, and sometimes we need to fill it by telling stories.” This intriguing statement by Brussels artist Stéphanie Roland is the theme of Blue Marble, a solo show that examines the ghostly nature of places and characters – real and imagined – and the ensuing stories passed down for generations. Born in Micronesia, Roland explores mysterious islands, reveals Interpol’s “blacklist”, inspects an inaccessible point in the heart of the Pacific and pays tribute to the storytellers of yesterday and today. Until 10 December, Iselp, Boulevard de Waterloo 31

(c)Coutresy Art of the Brick

A figure pulls open their chest with their bare hands, and Legos come tumbling out. It’s less odd than it seems because this is The Art of the Brick, an exhibition dedicated to sculptures made entirely from the famous plastic building blocks. Dinosaur skeletons, wild animals, even reproductions of famous works of art like Michaelangelo’s David and the Mona Lisa – nothing is too complicated or too big for Lego artist Nathan Sawaya. The whole family will marvel at his creativity, on show in the heart of Brussels. 14 October to 8 January, Grand Place 5

writers festival belgium

If you love the written word and would like to meet a bunch of local writers, head to the Writers Festival of Belgium this weekend. Under the banner Burning Down the House, its chosen climate theme considers one of society’s pressing concerns. Friday’s opening evening sees Brussels author and journalist Nicholas Lewis take to the floor, followed on Saturday by fellow writers Derek Blyth, Dominika Cosic, Jo Sullivan, James Janta and Shada Islam, all talking about a range of topics, including climate, politics, gender and diplomacy. And if you fancy putting pen to paper yourself, join a series of creative workshops on poetry, storytelling and climate communications. 14 & 15 October, Press Club Brussels Europe, Rue Froissart 95 (Etterbeek)

Ensemble Orchestral De Bruxelles and European Union Choir

Tickets are still available for a performance of Saint Saëns’ cello concerto (A minor op 33) by talented musician Marie Hallynck, and a masterpiece by Mendelssohn Lobgesant Symphony-cantata) in a concert by the Ensemble Orchestral De Bruxelles and the European Union Choir. The evening at Bozar promises unique vocal and musical arrangements of rarely-performed works. 16 October 18.00, Rue Ravenstein 23


Continuing the cultural programme of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Czech Philharmonic orchestra makes a rare appearance at Bozar for a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony. The four-part masterpiece was written to mark the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1917 but the composer takes audiences back to the revolution of 1905 when hundreds of workers were brutally slaughtered. Providing an upbeat counterpoint to this work, is Joseph Haydn's First Cello Concerto with French musician Gautier Capuçon (pictured). 21 October 20.00, Rue Ravenstein 23

Han Bin Yoon

It’s a double celebration for the internationally-renowned biennial Brussels Cello Festival. The 2022 edition is honouring both the 200th anniversary of Belgian composer César Franck and the 100th anniversary of Belgian cellist-composer Eric Feldbusch. Gathering some of the world’s top cellists and emerging talents to Belgium, the festival stages some inspiring concerts and masterclasses under artistic director Han Bin Yoon (pictured). 14 to 16 October, Brussels Conservatory, Rue de Régence 30


Serving as a prelude to its 7th edition in Namur from 7 to 11 November, The Extraordinary Film Festival presents a ‘best of’ in Watermael-Boitsfort with screenings for schools and the general public. The festival offers an array of new and amazing films and documentaries centred around the lives of disabled people and their families. Documentaries, animated films and feature films produced in Italy, Spain, France and UK all offer an impressive variety of stories set in different cultures. The films will be shown with audio description and accompanied by subtitles, providing everyone the best cinema experience possible. 14 & 15 October, La Vénérie – Espace Delvaux (Watermael-Boitsfort)

Meet the Author

The Embassy of Ireland invites everyone to its Meet the Author event, featuring two celebrated Irish writers. Mary O’Donnell, who has published eight collections of poetry, including Those April Fevers and Unlegendary, will talk about her most recent poetry collection Massacre of the Birds. Jaki McCarrick, an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction, discusses her book The Scattering, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Edge Hill prize. The evening includes light refreshments, signings and book sales. 20 October 18.00, Embassy of Ireland, Rue Froissart 50 (Etterbeek)

Museum Night Fever (c)Courtesy Museum Night Fever

Book now: Don’t miss out on Museum Night Fever, one of the most popular events in the capital. The reasonably priced ticket gives you access to all the shenanigans that 34 museums in the capital have cooked up for the evening, plus a shuttle bus to get you from one to the other. Music, food and performance is on the programme, as well as fun stuff like an Imaginarium at Wiels, 1980s hair, makeup and trunks of clothes at Art et Marges and making your own herb garden out of paper at Civa. Splash out for the after-party to keep the groove going. 22 October, across Brussels



The kaleidoscope public art project, As if fallen from the sky, the colors in situ and in motion, officially opens at Liège-Guillemins train station this Saturday. The inauguration of the art installation by internationally-renowned French conceptual artist Daniel Buren is being celebrated with free concerts, face-painting for kids and guided tours (registration necessary). Discover how the futuristic roof has been transformed by alternating coloured panes that project rainbow hues onto the station below. The in-situ artwork will remain in place for one year. 15 October 10.00-17.00, Esplanade Guillemins train station, Liège

Alabaster (c)Musée du Louvre, photo by Stéphane Maréchalle

A double bill has just opened at M Leuven. It’s all in the name at Alabaster, which features masterpieces from the 14th to the 17th century made from the material, reputed as more luxurious than gold and soft as velvet. Sculptures, retables, altars and massive tombstones show off the unique material. Over at Kato Six, meanwhile, visitors can see drawings, textile art and sculptures of a more modern sort by the multidisciplinary Belgian artist. 14 October to 26 February, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven

In search of the garden

Truly important people in any field should be remembered, but more of them are lost to us than we think. One of them is – or rather was – Benedikt Roezl, who spent the better part of the 19th century traveling from his homeland in what is now the Czech Republic to Belgium and on to South America, discovering and classifying several hundred species of plants. He was an intrepid explorer and a giant in his vocation but was largely lost to history. Until Rudolf Samohejl, a Czech artist living in Belgium, came upon a statue and embarked on the same journeys. His exhibition In Search of the Garden of Pursuits recreates Roezl’s discoveries and explores the resilience of memory. Until 26 February, Meise Botanical Garden, Nieuwelaan 38, Meise

Nature Film Festival

The International Nature Namur Festival offers a packed programme for nature-lovers this year. A total of 56 films, amateur and professional, provide a unique viewing experience into the animal kingdom, while the 25 photos on display will show some of the most breathtaking scenes captured around the world. Children will also be able to participate in Le Secret du Jardin de Clément, a fun activity where they’ll learn more about nature’s role. For those willing to learn about photography, there are several introductory workshops including filming nature and macro photography. There will also be guided nature walks. The photo exhibition is staged in a Nature Village at the citadel. 14-23 October, Le Delta, Namur

Festival Namur Demain

Fill your baskets with local produce at this farmers market, just one of the events at Festival Namur Demain (15 & 16 October) this weekend. Some 45 producers from food cooperative 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. 15 October 9.00-17.00, Place d’Armes, Namur


Four days of screenings await avid historical film fans at the 10th Waterloo Historical Film Festival. Premieres of biopics, war films, documentaries and comedies all try to accurately depict an event lost in history. The festival opens with Omar Sy’s new film, in which a father enlists into the Senegalese corps, part of the French army, to follow and protect his son in the trenches of World War One. Honorary guests include Grease director, Randal Kleiser, who will give a masterclass centred around his exceptional career. If 30 films are not enough, then concerts, family activities and a special event paying homage to Charlie Chaplin should satisfy cinema connoisseurs. Until 16 October, Cinés Wellington, Chaussée de Bruxelles 165

Photos: (main image) ablo Picasso, The Kitchen 1948 (c) Succession Picasso-Sabam Belgium 2022 (c) RMN Grand Paris photo Mathieu Rabeau; Comme-tombees-du-ciel-les-couleurs-in-situ-et-en-mouvement-liege-guillemins-c-photo-j-l-deru-c-daniel-buren; Alabaster (c)Musée du Louvre, photo by Stéphane Maréchalle; Waterloo Historical Film Festival, photo film June Zero-c-films-boutique

Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe