Until 31 August in Cinematek Brussels (Baron Hortastraat 9, 1000 Brussel). More info and full program here.
Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Every two years, the Brussels Grand Place is covered with a magnificent floral carpet. The last edition was in 2012… So that means that this year, you can go admire the beauty of flowers in the Brussels city center again!
Officially, the very first Belgian flower carpet was created in Brussels in 1971 by landscape architect E. Stautemans, while in fact it was the culmination of a whole series created in various towns in Flanders. Stautemans, who was born in Zottegem and graduated from the Ghent Horticultural College, had been experimenting since the early 50s to make simple small carpets, more like rugs, mainly consisting of begonias. He did so in Knokke, Oudenaarde, Sint-Niklaas, Lille,… He quickly realised that floral carpets would be an excellent vehicle for the promotion of his beloved begonias, both technically, economically and aesthetically.
After years of attempts and calculations, the architect became an expert in the creation of superb floral carpets with sophisticated colors and complicated designs. His fame spread and he was asked to make many other carpets, not only in Belgium (Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Ypres, Courtrai, Hasselt, Tongres, Mons, Durbuy) but also worldwide (Cologne, Hamburg, Luxemburg, Paris, London, Breda, Amsterdam, The Hague, Vienna, Valencia, and as far afield as Buenos Aires and Colombus, Ohio). Some of these carpets were bigger than the ones created in Brussels (77 x 24 m), like the 1973 masterpiece at Sint-Pietersplein, Ghent, which reached a gigantic 164 x 42 m.
However, as E. Stautemas himself says: “Nowhere is the carpet more beautiful and distinguished than in the unique, ancient surroundings of the Grand-Place in Brussels.” See for yourself:
The beauty and diversity of all these carpets is largely due to their main component, the famous begonia. Chosen above all for their qualities of robustness and resistance to bad weather and strong sunshine, begonias guarantee the long life and freshness of the carpet. They also give it is rich range of colors – from vivid colors to delicate pastel shades, with in between the parti-colored and white flowers that reflect the light so well.
* The Flower Carpet will light up the Grand Place in Brussels on 15, 16 and 17 August 2014. It will be inaugurated on 14 August at 10 pm.
* To admire the carpet as a whole, from above, you can have a magnificent, not-to-miss panoramic view from the balcony of the City Hall. Tours are held from 9 am to 11 pm.
* Every evening at 10, 10:30 and 11 pm, you can attend a splendid sound and light show, especially created for the 2014 flower carpet.
* Entrance fee: 5€, free entry for children under the age of 10.
* Check out the website for more information!
In its very first exhibition at BOZAR, The Word presents brand new and existing work by six of Belgium’s most promising young photographers. In what is arguably one of the most important group shows of Belgian photography in recent years, The Belgian Six brings together the contrasting stories of six of the most interesting and intriguing voices in Belgian photography.
With brand new works by Bieke Depoorter, Sarah Eechaut, Hana Miletic, Sébastien Bonin, Max Pinckers and David Widart, The Belgian Six presents the distinctive visions of three female and three male artists in one country today. Visit this wonderful expo, which is part of the Summer of Photography, until 31 August at BOZAR, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels. Check out the website too!
The Word is a Belgian magazine with international ambitions that documents neighourhood living, photography, music and art, and the people who drive it. Apart from the magazine, they also publish books and apps, organize events and produce online content. The Belgian Six is a group expo that was created by The Word’s Nicholas Lewis, Damien Aresta and Pierre Smeets.
* Sarah Eechaut (1983, Ghent)
* Hana Miletic (1982, Brussels)
* Bieke Depoorter (1986, Ghent)
* Sébastien Bonin (1977, Brussels)
* Max Pinckers (1988, Brussels)
* David Widart (1982, Liège)
Philip Seymour Hoffman has never been a posterboy like James Dean or Johnny Depp. But the Hollywood actor, who unfortunately died in the beginning of this year after a drug overdose, played many legendary roles and extravagant characters like no actor did. Cinematek brings an appropriate ode to Hoffman by screening a selection of his films.
Although it wasn’t a secret dat Hoffman was a drug addict, his sudden death still caught the world with surprise. It made an abrupt end to his remarkably succesful career with 4 Oscar nominations, of which he won one for his magnificent role of Truman Capote in the biopic Capote.
Hoffman was born in 1967 in Faymour, New York. With his blonde hairs and chubby body, he started his acting career in the 90s with a role in the tv-series Law & Order. He was immediately noticed as a future great actor by many critics. He played his first major roles in indie movies as Boogie Nights (1997) and Happiness (1998). In the latter movie, a cynical dramady of Todd Solondz, we see Hoffman in the kind of role that was to become his trademark: the character of a lonely, pathetic and desperate neurotic person, in this case a frustrated computer nerd who masturbates during phone calls with complete strangers or when browsing through teenage magazines.
In the cult classic The Big Lebowski (1997) Hoffman has a minor role as personal assistent of the main character. In this movie, we see another legendary acting side of Hoffman, for which he was often praised: a cool and rigid person who is in control of everything. In Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmiths The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Hoffman shows us once again what a great actor he is.
If the homosexual dandy Truman Capote were still alive today, he would most probably get the creeps of the amazing way in which Hoffman imitates his studied manners, extravagant clothing style and high high voice in Capote (2005), a fascinating film about the writer during his research and writing of In Cold Blood. Hoffman is in nearly every scene of the movie and he makes it into a magnificent performance. Other movies in which Hoffman shows us his exquisite acting talents include Almost Famous (2000), The Savages (2007), Doubt (2008) and The Ides of March (2011). He didn’t say no to roles in big blockbusters, such as Mission: Impossible III (2006).
Hoffman’s breakthrough as an actor was thanks to Boogie Nights, a panoramic view on the Californian porn industry of the 80s. He plays the lonely sound assistent Scotty, a very pathetic and pitiable character. But it is not until Magnolia (1999) that Hoffman really manages to move the big public. In this movie he plays Phil Pharma, a kind and dedicated nurse who takes care of the dying Jason Robards. He had one of his last major roles in The Master (2012) of Paul Thomas Anderson, where he plays Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a religious movement.
It’s a pity that Cinematek couldn’t get a copy of Jack Goes Boating, Hoffman’s 2010 directing début. In this unconventional romantic comedy, we see Hoffman als a socially disturbed, reggae-obsessed limo driver who constantly listens to The Rivers of Babylon through his headphones. It’s a song about freedom… But unfortunately for us, Philip Seymour Hoffman found that freedom somewhere else. May he rest in peace.
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.
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!
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.
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.