Belgian street photography is still very much alive

Funny or filled with melancholy, simplistic or very detailed, modern as well as retro, playing with compositions and colors: at the BELvue Museum Belgian and Belgium-based photographers show that the art of street photography is still very much alive after Eugène Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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The temporary expo “Belgian Street Photography” is presenting a series of astonishing urban photographs, taken by 14 photographers. It presents a singular vision of urban photography, subject to diverse interpretations and lying at the frontier of other genres.

Visitors gain fascinating insights into the works of Jimmy Kets, Artur Eranosian (born in Armenia), Wouter Van Vaerenbergh, Jef Beirinckx, Luc Rabaey, Brecht Van Maele, Karina Brys, Patrick Bardyn, Thomas Switn Sweertvaegher, Franky De Schampheleer, Olivier Bekaert, Charles Paulicevich (from Lyon), Filip Claus and John Vink. Born in 1948, the latter is the oldest of the 14 photographers.

The expo is open until 25 January 2015. Admission is free! Adress: BELvue Museum, Paleizenplein 7, 1000 Brussels, tel. 070 22 04 92, www.belvue.be

If you’re inspired by the expo, you can also take part in the contest for amateur photographers. All you have to do is share your own view of the city by capturing an impressive or striking scene or what you think is the city’s special atmosphere. Send your photograph to contest@belvue.be by 4 January 2015. A panel of photographers from the Belgian Street Photography exhibition will select the best photos. The 3 winning photos will be showcased in the exhibition from 10 to 25 January, 2015. So… What are you waiting for?

 

 

Lights, camera, action!

Once a year, since 2005, Brussels hosts the Be Film Festival and invites some of the leading lights of Belgian cinema. Belgians and tourists alike traditionally come to be part of this festive cinematic experience. This year, from 26 to 30 December, the Be Film Festival will set up for the 10th time in a row at Palais des Beaux-Arts and La Cinémathèque Royale. Two outstanding places to spend the Christmas holidays, if you ask us!

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The program includes a retrospective of films that came out in 2014 – a unique opportunity to see them if you missed them, or to see them again – as well as a series of previews and other exceptional screenings. In other words, this festival will see you (re)discovering Belgian films that have already dazzled and conquered at the biggest festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, and Venice. You can discover the full program here.

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The Be Film Festival it’s THE annual meeting of Belgian cinema to not miss! Artists and producers will be present to share cinematographic and festive moment with the public. During previous editions, the festival has welcomed famous names as Bouli Lanners, Wim Willaert, Natacha Régnier, Jaco Van Dormael, Koen De Graeve, Marion Hänsel, Fien Troch, François Damiens, Benoît Mariage, Jan Verheyen, Joachim Lafosse, Michaël R. Roskam and many others. This year too, many “big names” from Belgian cinema will be present…

The opening night takes place on December 26th with the movie “Melody” by Bernard Bellefroid. The film will be screened in the presence of the film crew and will be followed by a cocktail. You can book your tickets here!

The Drawing Room at Botanique

Until 4 January 2015, the Botanique Museum is hosting a gallery of drawings dedicated to the unique universe of the Belgian visual artist Hans Op de Beeck. In a muted setting conceived by the artist, the exhibition presents a series of drawings and previously unseen watercolors, as well as a film produced for the occasion. One of the major figures on the current artistic scene, Hans Op de Beeck is the creator of a deeply poetic and troubling body of work.

Using a palette reduced to black alone, the artist reveals a night-time world, dominated by silence and tranquillity. Time seems to give way in his vertiginous urban backdrops, foggy horizons or confined interiors. Each and every one arouses a disconcerting sense of both familiarity and strangeness.

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Moving away from a strict representation of reality in favor of a more cerebral dimension, his landscapes resemble mental images rather than specific places. They evoke states of mind, which can be accessed by means of gentle immersion. By dissolving the borders between the unknown and the intimate, blurring distances and identities, Hans Op de Beeck’s work is a veritable invitation to introspection. In the manner of still lifes and vanitas, his seductive compositions subtly transport the gaze above and beyond the superficial and, without wallowing in nostalgic romanticism, question the absurdity of our day-to-day existence.

Born in 1969, Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Brussels. Having completed his studies in visual arts at Sint-Lukas in Brussels in 1996, he has developed a multidisciplinary body of work mixing painting, sculpture, video installation, writing, set design and musical composition. Figuring in the collections of a number of significant institutions in Belgium and abroad, he has also been the subject of numerous exhibitions all over the world. “Sea of tranquility”, shown at the Argos Center for Media and Art in Brussels in 2010, is currently touring internationally.

All practical information is to be found on the website of the Botanique.

Out now: Brussels Cultural Guide 2015

2015 is coming closer and closer, so you might wanna start planning your cultural agenda. Fact is that Brussels has an enormous variety of cultural events: exhibitions, performances, concerts, festivals, cultural events and many many more. But the good news is that the Cultural Guide of Brussels 2015 is out now. A work of the Foundation for the Arts, the guide is a handy brochure on cultural life in the Belgian capital with an overview of the main events in 2015.

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The book consists of 3 chapters: “Theatre-Dance-Opera”, “Music and Concerts” and “Museums and Exhibitions”, including all sites and their respective schedules. Apart from that, it also contains a part with the best addresses for culture and leisure, such as cultural centers, cinemas, guided tours and city walks and restaurants.

The Cultural Guide, available in bookstores for 10 €, thus contains essential information for a trip to Brussels in 2015. With this document, there’s no way you’ll ever get bored in this city next year!

 

Gold Rush – New Years Eve 2014

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