What’s on: Belgium reopens its cultural institutions


This week’s what’s on Belgium article looks at two fine establishments holding the torch for Belgium’s vibrant cultural life.

BOZAR is back
The reopening of exhibitions in BOZAR started from 1 December. The three current exhibitions – Danser brut, HOTEL BEETHOVEN, Philippe Vandenberg: Molenbeek – have reopened, and they have added a new exhibition Facing van Eyck The Miracle of Detail.

Facing van Eyck: The Miracle of Detail
This new exhibition looks at Jan van Eyck’s extraordinary works through a contemporary lens. Thanks to pioneering digital techniques and new scientific research at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), you can get closer to van Eyck and his secrets than ever before. Take an immersive dive into van Eyck’s pictorial micro cosmos by zooming in on landscapes, architecture, textiles, human figures and everyday objects, and unveil fascinating details hardly visible to the naked eye. Benjamin Glorieux composed a van Eyck-inspired piece especially for the exhibition – a sensory experience that fascinates both the eye and the ear.

A richly illustrated film focuses on Jan van Eyck’s devotional images and links him to the Byzantine icon. By delving deeper into the reception and appropriation of Byzantine models in van Eyck’s work the film explores the religious and artistic exchanges between East and West in the 15th century.

​​​​​​​A new way of looking at Jan van Eyck’s oeuvre through 20 digitized works that show you the radicality and freshness of his fascinating visual language.

With a ticket for Facing Van Eyck you have free access to HOTEL BEETHOVEN.

The BOZAR Bookshop by Walther König will also open at the usual times (Tu-Su, 10 am-6pm). The existing health protocols (wearing a compulsory mask, online booking, regulation of the flow of visitors, social distancing, hand disinfection, etc.) remain in force.

Another museum to make a comeback is the excellent Design Museum Brussels. Among its latest projects to be extended is the haunting Standing Stones. The museum is launching its program of exploring the dialogue between art and contemporary design through a carte blanche. The current installation is designed by the Greek duo Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis who founded the studio Objects of Common Interest together in 2015. The duo designs from both their studio’s in Athens and New York with the focus in creating still life installations and experiential environments and objects, demonstrating a fixation with materiality, concept and tangible spatial experiences.

Through the use of inflatable figures made out of biodegradable acrylic, the unique installation Standing Stones reinterprets the used forms and figures of the Cycladic civilization during the Bronze Age. The objects are cast as translucent inflatables. By doing this, what was before heavy, solid and hard, is now light, airy and soft. The visitor is submerged in a space that looks dreamy and illusionary because of the use of mirrors. Here, the visitor 0reflects on the duality between transparency and opacity, softness and hardness and, the temporary and the permanent. In the middle of the installation, a circle of stools can be found, placed around a reflecting ‘pond’ of mirrors, that invites the visitor to contemplate and have a moment of introspection. Until 29 August 2021.

See more what’s on Belgium and travel in our leisure pages…