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What’s on this week: 2-8 June

Maison Hannon, photo Gregory de Leuuw
10:06 01/06/2023
From Art Nouveau heritage to contemporary art and local am-dram productions, check out our guide to upcoming cultural activities and events

Art Nouveau masterpiece Maison Hannon finally reopens its doors to the public following major restoration. The elegant facades of the 1904 building gracing the corner of Avenue Brugmann and Avenue de la Jonction have long delighted passers-by. Now the refined, harmonious and light-filled interior is on show as a new museum. The first in a series of temporary exhibitions honours national artists: Art(s) nouveau(x) belge(s). Van de Velde, Serrurier-Bovy, Hankar...& Co. The heritage site is accessible Monday & Friday, Saturday & Sunday, while Tuesday to Thursday is reserved for private visits booked ia Arkadia and Korei. Avenue de la Jonction 1 (Saint-Gilles)


Young Brussels artist Milan Jespers honours human life in his first solo show Cenotaphs at comic strip gallery Huberty & Breyne. The extraordinarily mature series of intricate watercolours explore the ritualisation of death. From the starting point of a collection of mainly 19th-century photos, Jespers replicates their formal portrait settings. But his figures – often maimed – pose proudly against starkly contrasting backdrops to accentuate the comparison between the past and present. Meticulous painted textiles provide a contemporary aesthetic beauty to his compelling and thought-provoking series. Until 17 June, Place du Chatelain 33 (Ixelles)


The Movy Up collective in Forest showcases Belgian cinema with a screening of Emmanuelle Nicot’s  debut feature Dalva. The sensitive film about a 12-year-old girl who’s a victim of sexual abuse by her father is an intense and powerful drama. It explores the consequences of her trauma as she embarks on a new life in a foster home. Both the director and lead actress Zelda Samson attend the screening. 2 June 19.30, GC Ten Weyngaert , Rue des Alliés 54 (Forest)


Artist duo FAste (Caroline Andrin/Étienne Fleury) fill the space of the Maison d’Erasme Museum with their sculptural interpretation of the Dutch philosopher’s proverbs. The exhibition of ceramic works is a first; the Franco-Swiss pair innovatively explore the writings of Erasmus in an artistic and contemporary context. Along with the neighbouring Beguinages, the Maison d’Erasme regularly invites contemporary artists to forge a dialogue with its ancient works. The site is always worth visiting for its beautiful and tranquil setting. Until 29 October, Rue de Formanoir 31 (Anderlecht)

BAMSustainable village Be-Here hosts its monthly Brussels Artisan Markets (BAM) on Saturday. Located near Tour & Taxis, it gathers around 40 local artisan producers and creators, selling original and locally-sourced jewellery, illustrations, textiles, decoration and cosmetics. The village’s regular stores are also open for the occasion. Little ones will be entertained by a bunch of fun activities. 3 June 12.00-18.00, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre (Laeken)

Rosas © Anne Van Aerschot

Dance company Rosas and its world-famous choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker present Exit Above. After the tempest. The performance’s starting point is the song Walking Blues by legendary blues artist Robert Johnson as De Keersmaeker retraces her steps to the roots of dance and Western pop music. This musical journey includes Der Wanderer by classical composer Schubert, while upcoming Flemish singer songwriter with Ethiopian roots, Meskerem Mees, composes a series of variations, permutations and other adaptations of 'walking songs,’ together with  similarly mythical Belgian musician Jean-Marie Aerts. Dancer and guitarist Carlos Garbin joins them. Until 11 June, Théâtre National, Boulevard Emile Jacquemain 111-115

Australian musician and writer Nick Cave is joined by Irish journalist and Guardian art critic Sean Hagan for a very special discussion at Bozar, centred around their best-selling book Faith, Hope and Carnage. Drawing upon over 40 hours of conversation between the pair, the book explores Cave’s life, through his loves, his work ethic and examines questions of faith, art, music, freedom, grief and love. 4 June 20.00, Bozar, 23 Rue Ravenstein


After a four-year absence, the Brussels Street Photography Festival makes its return to the capital with workshops, photo-walks and a major exhibition showcasing amazing street images from 72 photographers hailing from 20 countries. Until 9 June, Marquis, 1 Rue du Marquis

StudioNightsThe American Theatre Company presents a double bill of one-act plays over the space of five days as part of the Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies (FEATS). The first play, Accelerated Intimacy, focuses on two strangers who are stuck in a broken down NYC subway train, while Baby Boom is a darkly comic exploration of the prevalence of guns in contemporary American society. 6-10 June, Warehouse Studio Theatre, 69a Rue Waelhem (Schaerbeek)


The Queen Elisabeth Music Competition enters its final tense stage. Each evening until the final on 3 June, four of the 12 finalists will perform at Bozar with La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra under the baton of music director Alain Altinoglu. The voice competition will conclude with the six laureates appearing in the closing concert with the Symphony Orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, conducted by Alejo Pérez on 13 June. The competition can be followed on national TV and radio stations. Until 3 June, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23


Book now Join Fever’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the legendary Hollywood film studio at the concert Candlelight, 100 ans de Warner Bros at the Atomium. Listen to iconic pieces of music from the studio’s most famous films from the Golden age of the 1930s and 40s, including classic tunes Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Singin’ in the Rain, to recent hit Shallow from A Star is Born. Adding to the special occasion, the 60 minute-concert by Ensemble Marolles string quartet is performed in one of the spheres of Brussels’ emblematic landmark. Note: a glass of Champagne is included in the admission price. 14 July, Salle Prigogine, The Atomium (Laeken)


(c) isaac ponseele(1)

With climate change a major concern, Bar Bricolage, near Ghent’s docks, is a green industrial site built entirely out of recycled and upcycled material. It also has an incredible line-up of events for all ages this summer. Enjoy cocktails, DJs, yoga classes, workshops, evening campfire and more in this ecological oasis. The weekly programme offers different activities each day, from comedy nights, concerts and exhibitions to parties on Friday and Saturday evenings for weekend revellers. Until 17 September, Bar Bricolage, Ghent Docks, Chinastraat 1


Located in the spectacular Port House building, art exhibition Antwerp re-active, search stadium is an impressive display of contemporary baroque paintings. Curated by Sergio Servellon, it also has contributions from city galleries such as De Zwarte Panter and Gallery Sofie Van de Velde. The art pieces are not the only stars of the show. As part of the Barokker Influencers city festival, visitors can experience events, lectures and plays. And the Port House building designed by Zaha Hadid architects in 2016 is a destination in itself, representing both the past and future of the historic port. Until 26 November, Port House, Zaha Hadidplein 1, 2030

Exit 11Exit 11 contemporary art centre is in the enviable position of calling a château-ferme its home and is currently showing its exhibition Parti pris with works by Daniel Locus, Tatiana Bohm and Hughes Dubuisson until 14 June. On Sunday morning, the art space is offering visitors a guided tour of the show and an opportunity to meet the artists during a relaxed aperitif and shared bite to eat. The price is €12 per person, including visit, meal and refreshments (reservation: or telephone 0455.153.713). 4 June 11.00, Exit 11, Rue de Petit-Leez 129, Grand Leez (Namur province)

Ducasse Mons

The city of Mons is already in party mode as it celebrates its beloved folklore tradition, the Ducasse – or Doudou. A popular festival dating from the Middle Ages, which culminates in a fight between Saint-George and the dragon in the Grand Place following the procession of the Car d’Or (on Sunday) have been recognised as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible History of Humanity by UNESCO since 2005. A full programme of concerts and other entertainment accompany the merrymaking. Until 11 June, city centre Mons


Book now ETCetera theatre group presents Jacques Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, directed by Andrew Fisk and produced by Peter Willis. One of the composer’s most celebrated operettas, it boasts lively music and a ridiculous plot that enlivens this tale of the monarch of a small European country whose ministers decide to go to war in order to keep her entertained. It’s sung in the original French, partly in Dutch, with spoken dialogue in modern and comical English. The entire show is also surtitled in French, Dutch and English. The operatta is performed by a live orchestra directed by Steven De Mesmaeker. 22-25 June, De Bosuil, Witherendreef 1, Jesus Eik (Overijse)

Photos:  Maison Hannon ©photo Gregory de Leuuw; Baigneurs de Rance © Milan Jespers; Rosas ©Anne Van Aerschot; Bert-DeBusschere; ©isaac ponseele; Havenhuis, courtesy Port of Antwerp 

Written by Sarah Crew, Damien Maguire, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe