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What’s on this week: 20-26 October

11:38 19/10/2023
Museums are the place to be this upcoming week with a cluster of exhibitions on Ukrainian art, Horta design, miniatures and water and power-themed creativity, plus Saturday’s Museum Night Fever.

There’s no better place than Bozar to see an exhibition on the work of Victor Horta; the turn-of-the-20th-century architect designed the art centre’s landmark building. The pioneering designer and architect was also responsible for many of Brussels’ outstanding houses and public buildings, such as the Hôtel Tassel, Maison Vinck and Maison du Peuple as well as his own home and studio, now the Horta Museum. Victor Horta and the Grammar of Art Nouveau guides visitors through the architectural approach of this influential figure via archive documents, photographs, plans, original sketches and models. The exhibition also focuses on the social context of Horta’s work during this avant-garde period. Until 14 January, Rue Ravenstein 23


Get ready for the party marathon that’s Museum Night Fever! With one ticket, you can access 34 museums with endless fun entertainment cooked up by each one for the evening. The programme, including music, food and performance, promises to be “crazy”, say organisers. Live concerts, guided tours, expos and a drag show are among the activities awaiting you. 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. 21 October, across Brussels

Alexandra Exter, Three Female Figures, oil on canvas, 1909-1910, National Art Museum of Ukraine, inv. Ж-1769

Touring exhibition In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930s lands in the Belgian capital after runs in Madrid and Cologne. More than 60 works attest to the quality and creativity of a generation of artists - largely unknown outside of Ukraine - during a period of major political upheaval. They were part of an artistic renaissance that reflected their resilience and the influence of the eminent art movements sweeping across Europe during this fascinating and groundbreaking period. All the works were carefully transported out of the war-torn country to both save them from potential damage and exhibit them across Europe. Until 29 January, Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Old Masters Museum), Rue de la Régence 3


Connecting questions of energy and politics, via exhibits from Willy van der Meeren’s radical 1970s energy conscious student housing for the VUB to Bas Smet’s ‘microclimatic’ plan for Notre-Dame, Power combines photographs, installations, drawings, paintings and videos. “From oil and gas pipelines to domestic radiators, wind turbines to recycling hubs, infrastructure is central to today’s energy transformation debates,” says curator Nikolaus Hirsch. “The exhibition challenges viewers to consider how contemporary infrastructure relates to everyday life across intersecting concerns, including political institutions, citizen participation, geopolitics, energy transition and climate justice.” Until 25 February, CIVA, Rue de l’Ermitage 55 (Ixelles) 


From the smallest droplet to the largest ocean, Water explores the ever-changing states of this wondrous substance and the ways artists demonstrate its importance. In the Villa Empain’s wonderful Art Deco setting, complete with (watery) pool, installations, videos, sculptures and paintings from big name modern and contemporary artists, including Belgium’s Léon Spilliaert and Jean-Michel Folon, show not only how political water can become – for example when glaciers melt or water dries up – but also how beautiful it is, through gleaming droplets, overhanging umbrellas and deep blue ceramic waves. Until 10 March, Villa Empain, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67 (Ixelles) 

Small is Beautiful ©The Paper Ark

Artists working with miniatures often install their tiny people and objects in public places, where they interact with their environment in funny, human ways. They risk going unnoticed or disappearing, which will not be the case with the installations at Small is Beautiful, a show bringing together some 100 words by 20 international artists. There are paintings smaller than one square centimetre, magnificently detailed interiors and classic scenes of tiny people evoking big emotions. 20 October to 31 December, Grand Place 5


You don’t have to hunt through programming to find a family-friendly movie at Filem’On, Brussels’ international film festival dedicated to kids and teenagers. Check out, for instance, Un été à Boujad, wherein 13-year-old Karim must move from Paris to his father’s homeland of Morrocco, a country he doesn’t know at all. Or the new Belgian film Le Paradis, in which two boys fall in love while incarcerated in a juvenile detention centre. There are also workshops on making your own live or animated movies and the wonder of green screen. The sister festival FilemKing takes place at the same time in Ghent. 25 October to 4 November, across Brussels


Immerse yourself in the American director’s singular fantasy world in Tim Burton’s Labyrinth. A maze of rooms in this experience show contain original artworks and employ technology, lights, sound and scenography from his celebrated filmography. Since the 1980s, Burton has been behind some of the most famous and acclaimed dark fantasy movies, frequently occupying a gothic world with some highly-memorable cunning and chilling villains. Visitors will be able to wander freely around the show, following one of 300 possible routes that explore the mind of the creative director. From 20 October, Tour & Taxis, Shed 3Bis, Avenue du Port 86C

BWC Brocante

Looking for something unique and unusual, either for yourself or for someone special? Pop along to the Mega-Brocante at the Brussels Women's Club. In addition, you'll find hand-made jewellery, home-made cakes, marmalades and jams, and lots more. And while you're browsing, sample some treats at the club’s cafe. 21 October 10.00-14.00, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)  


Buy tickets asap if you hope to get your family into Legends, a two-night only event at the Val Duchesse Domain in Auderghem. Usually closed to the public, this former abbey on 27 acres in the Sonian Forest will be home to fairy tale characters, whose stories will be acted out live, incorporating video mapping and sound and lighting effects. Visitors can discover the performances as they walk around the castle, orangery, ponds and forest of this spectacular site. 27 & 28 October, Boulevard du Souverain 259 (Auderghem)


Book now GROUNDED Tickets are now on sale for The Bridge Theatre’s autumn production, a thrilling and poetic drama about a fighter pilot who is grounded at the height of her career due to her unexpected pregnancy and has to navigate the conflicting worlds of military and motherhood. The award-winning play is written by George Brand, directed by Emma Howlett and stars Letty Thomas of The Crown, Soulmates and Bridgerton fame. Some dates include post-show talks. 8-25 November, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Lanterna Magica The third edition of the autumn family adventure Lanterna Magica RTL: an autumn symphony at château de La Hulpekicks off on Friday. Illuminating the enchanting setting of the stately home domain, a brand new nature route with 1001 surprises is part of the sensory experience that includes magical lighting, special projections and digital technology. A shuttle bus operates between La Hulpe train station and the site. From 20 October, Domaine du Château de la Hulpe, Chaussée de Bruxelles (Brabant Walloon)

Echo Mumbling Beauty, Louise Bourgeois, 2008-2010 ©Alex Van Gelder

Some of the world’s most famous artists, fashion designers and choreographers lead visitors through Echo: Wrapped in Memory at Antwerp’s fashion museum. The exhibition reflects on the intimate connection between clothing and memory through the lens of three artists whose work is intensely emotional: Louise Bourgeois (pictured), Simone Rocha and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Until 25 February, MoMu, Nationalestraat 28, Antwerp

(c)Toerisme Ieper

Following a crowdfunding campaign and grants from tourist organisations, the famous Yorkshire Trench and Dugout in Ypres has been fully restored and re-opened to the public. The unique historical site includes a shallow trench dating to 1915 and entrances to a deep dugout (underground shelter) from 1917. It is the only British trench in the Ypres Salient still in its original location. The trench and dugout, accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1992, is freely accessible, with a clearly marked route for visitors. Enter across from Bargiestraat 6, Boezinge (Ypres)

Email banner Expatival announcement

This one day free event in Leuven is ready to help internationals to connect and learn more about life in Belgium. Expatival is hosted by International House Leuven and boasts 30+ workshops and a large gathering of information stands that will aid expats become more integrated, get information on languages courses and discover fun activities to do in the Flemish university city. Visitors can also bring their kids along thanks to a play corner that will keep them entertained. A tasty lunch menu is available in outdoor courtyard. Register for free tickets. 21 October 10.00-17.30, Tiensevest 60, Leuven


Dreaming of adventure and travel? Seek inspiration or simply admire the landscapes and the stories recounted in the European Outdoor Film Tour EOFT. Visiting six cities in Belgium, its two-hour programme takes viewers on an unforgettable journey of daring sporting adventures. The itinerant show is screening first in Genk and Antwerp, then Brussels, Ghent Charleroi and Liège in January. Six films portray individuals pushing their limits, whether it be in mountaineering, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, skiing or snowboarding. 22 & 27 October Zuiderpershuis, Antwerp; 23 October, Euroscoop Genk

Hoppy Days

Liège hosts its annual craft beer celebration this weekend. Hoppy Days is serving more than 100 artisan beers from Belgium and abroad with some 18 breweries attending the event. For grape and alcohol tipplers, wine and home-made cocktails will also be available, and thanks to a 0% stand, there’s a good range of non-alcoholic drinks and softs with priority given to fairtrade and local refreshments. On Sunday, pancakes will be the flavour of the day. The free event also includes entertainment and DJs. 20-22 October, Palais des Congrès, Esplanade de l’Europe 2, Liege

Raf Van Severen

If summer is now a distant memory, bathe in the sun-kissed atmosphere of Belgian artist Laurenz Coninx’s universe. Another Day in Paradise is a series of new works drawing viewers into a colourful and cheerful world that is dreamy, harmonious and brimming with positive energy. Creating a dialogue between realism and texture, the artist generously applies oil paints in a colour palette reflecting his emotions. Until 19 November, Raf Van Severen Gallery, Godefriduskaai 52, Antwerp

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

Photos: (main image) Victor Horta, Max Hallet house, Brussels, 1903 ©Maxime Delvaux; ©CIVA POWER Paris Notre Dame; Villa Empain ©Céline Pagès & Christine Marchal La valse des méduses, 2023 Silvia Cappellari; Small is Beautiful ©The Paper Ark; Tim Burton ©Fabian Morasut; Echo Mumbling Beauty, Louise Bourgeois, 2008-2010 ©Alex Van Gelder; ©Toursime Ieper; ©EOFT alpsolutpictures; ©Raf Van Severen Gallery

Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Liz Newmark