Watching movies in the open air at pleinOPENair Brussels

Watching movies under the stars in the sky: don’t we all just love that? Last year, the Brussels summer movie festival pleinOPENair unfortunately didn’t take place, and many people felt there was something missing about summer… So this year a group of volunteers is touring the city again with their open air movie roadshow. Great news, don’t you think?

The free film festival started last weekend. The big movie screen is located at Justitiepaleis, nearby the Miniemenstraat. Here you can watch movies in the vibrant atmosphere of the Brussels Marolles, a more than unique experience! You can check out the full program and all the details here.

On the program is a.o. a nearly forgotten feature film about the Marolles of the 50s, Le Chantier des Gosses of director Jean Harlez, which was at the beginning of this year a real blockbuster at Cinema Nova. Harlez is an autodidact who plays outside professional circles. He learnt film making in 1947 when he became Charles Dekeukeleire’s assistant. Then he built his own 35mm camera and directed a short film on an agricultural cooperative, which was bought by the Ministry of Agriculture, thus permitting him to achieve his own dream: to make a real film, showing life in a poor neighbourhood that differs in nothing from other poor neighbourhoods of the world. Harlez explores the streets of the Marolles for 2 years (1954-1956). He quickly gains the inhabitants’ sympathy and he gets to know a bunch of children who becomes little by little his actors…

Le chantier des gosses (The Children’s Building Site) is the result of this adventure. This is probably the first Belgian feature film inspired by Neo-Realism. The film, made without money, had no sound. It is only 15 years later that the soundtrack was created. The film was finalized in 1970, thanks to great enthusiasm, patience and determination of the team. But, in the absence of whatever aid or distribution, the film was unnoticed by the audience, ignored by most filmographies on Belgian cinema, never released on DVD or in film theatres… until recently! Fortunately, because it’s really such a gem!

Traditionally, pleinOPENair also organizes concerts and walks through the Marolles, in search of traces of a lost history.

PleinOPENair, until 10 Aug in the Marolles. Check the website for more info!

 

You look like a million dollars // Expose me!

Summer of Photography ’14 is almost entering its last month. So don’t forget to check out as many expositions as long as you can!

Another must-see exposition is You look like a million dollars in CC Strombeek. This photo expo of Maroesjka Lavigne and Elisabeth Ida Mulyani, two young promising photographers and both graduates from KASK in Gent, focuses on beauty standards and compares them to coca cola bottles: there have been many different version through history, but they are to be found worldwide. The same goes for beauty ideals.

With her “Iceland-series”, Maroesjka Lavigne won the LensCulture Emerging Talent Award last year, and she also settled herself among the widely acclaimed FOAM Talents.  In this exposition, she shows new works that she created in South-Korea after reading a newspaper article about a beauty contest where all contestants freakishly perfectly resembled each other “thanks to” plastic surgery. Lavigne is expecially fascinated by the craving for perfection that is so omnipresent in South-Korea and that puts an enormous pressure on women over there.

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Elisabeth Ida Mulyani was born in Indonesia. She’s a socially committed photographer in whose works culture, place and identity always take a central place. In “You look like a million dollars” she questions the delicate relationship between beauty and freedom within a context of religious restrictions.

“You look like a million dollars // Expose me!” can be visited until August 31st, from Wednesday to Saturday from 2pm til 6pm. Check out the website of CC Strombeek for more info!

Are You Ready For Customisez-Moi?

On 8 and 9 November, the 8th edition of Customisez-moi will take place at Hotel BLOOM. This competition was initiated by “prince of vintage” Bernard Gavillan and gives upcoming designers a unique chance to show their very own creations on the catwalk. In the jury are Elle Belgium Editor-in-Chief Nica Broucke, Wim Denolf from Knack Weekend, Flanders Fashion Institute’s Yasmijn Verlinden and fashion designer Cédric Charlier. Quite impressive, don’t you think? And that’s not all… Because the prizes are also very impressive!

Do you have a hidden talent? Is designing and creating your absolute passion? Then don’t wait any longer and subscribe for the 8th edition of Customisez-moi! It’s really simple comme bonjour: register on the website before 30 September, follow the procedures, write a convincing letter of motivation and upload 10 pictures of your self-created designs. If you ask us, that’s a chance you really don’t wanna miss!

And there’s so much more than a catwalk! Stylists who want to sell customized creations can also subscribe for the Customize market. Book your own spot via the website, and maybe you’ll be selling your designs at Hotel BLOOM in November!

More information? Check out the Facebook page!

We’re getting ready for Customisez-moi… Hopefully you are too?

Summer of Photography: Where We’re At!

Where We’re At! Other voices on gender brings together female photographers and video artists of African, Caribbean and Pacific cultural background who are developing gender discourses in their art. As Summer of Photography 2014 entirely docuses on gender relations, this exhibition perfectly fits in. The project presents the work of practitioners who have made significant contributions to the participation and visibility of women in the arts since the 1980s.

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The pieces selected for this exhibition address current topics and debates around gender equality, self-representation, body and sexuality within the frames of cultural and identity politics.  Where we’re at! is a contemporary appraisal of diverse artistic experiences ranging from the most intimate to the most singular forms of activism. It also stands as a curatorial positioning on questions relating to exhibiting and collecting gender-focused art practices in the South and global contexts.

One of the woman artists in this exposition is South-African Zanele Muholi. She says: I want to make important works instead of something beautiful. Politics and poetry come first, long before the aesthetic aspect.”

Also check out the satellite exhibit “Colored Only“, which is covering the same theme.

You can “Where We’re At! Other Voices On Gender” until 31 August at Bozar, rue Ravensteinstraat 23, Brussels. More info: www.bozar.be.

What appears in the darkness and disappears in the light: a photo expo

Visitors of Brussel Danst!, which took place on 11 July, already had the unique opportunity to learn the famous chair scene from Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s “Rosas Danst Rosas”. And now Rosas and the Librairie des Galeries are organizing an exposition centered around the pictures that Rosas’ house photographer Anne Van Aerschot made during the performances “En Attendant” and “Cesena”. The pictures will also be available in a book.

Anne Van Aerschot has been working for Rosas since the early 1990s. She started as De Keersmaeker’s assistant for numerous projects. Finally she decided to study photography at the academy. She used to make lots of pictures when Rosas was on tour: she mainly photographed what happened around the performances and made portraits of the dancers. Since 3Abschied, a 2008 project of De Keersmaeker with Jérôme Bel, she also started to shoot full performances. Here she totally focuses on the people, the dancers, their bodies and their faces.

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The pictures shown in the exposition are taken during “En Attendant” and “Cesena”, two performances that premiered at the Festival of Avignon in 2010 and 2011. What intrigued Van Aerschot about these twe performances is that they took place in natural light. This was an enormous challenge for her to shoot. There’s very few light throughout the performances, which is clearly visible in the pictures – which are, by the way, all analog.

What do you start looking at when it’s dark? Hence comes the title of the exposition: “What appears in the darkness and disappears in the light”. Both expo and book contain many dark images. They are in chronological order, so that you can clearly see the changes in the light.

Practical information:

“What appears in the darkness and disappears in the light”

Until 31 August, at Librairie des Galeries, Galeries Royales 2, Brussels

More info can be found on the website of Rosas

 

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