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20 exhibitions to visit in Brussels this summer

Need a summer break? Cooling down and new experiences can be found in the Brussels museums, which are once again dazzling with their exhibitions this season. We list twenty exhibitions for you that are well worth a visit!

ARGOS - Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide): Four Months, Four Million Light Years / Hamza Hallobi: You left me my lips, and they shape words, even in silence

05.2021 > 18-07-2021

With her video installation, the Korean-Dutch Sara Sejin Chang investigates the colonial origins of transnational and racial adoption - a phenomenon to which shamanic rituals add an extra dimension.

The Moroccan-Belgian artist Hamza Halloubi departs for his solo exhibition from the concept of 'silence'. How do you make the invisible visible? Three large projections and a series of video portraits offer just that - often forgotten or unheard - alternative voice. It's clear: in ARGOS, several hidden histories will see the light of day this summer.

Botanique - Memymom: Home Game

27-05-2021 > 01-08-2021

The collaboration between artist duo Marilène Coolens and Lisa De Boeck - mother and daughter - started with the creation of an intimate archive of family photos; nowadays they subject our world to their (photographers) gaze. When the two join forces, the result is grand: more than 220 works in Home Game take a critical look at contemporary society - a multitude of small mysteries that never lose sight of the pursuit of beauty. A web to get tangled in.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium - Canta Carta

01-04-2021 > 01-08-2021

Pioneer of the CoBrA group, one of the greatest contemporary Belgian artists and 93 years young: we are of course talking about the artist Pierre Alechinsky. With a selection of more than 200 drawings, watercolours, etchings, lithographs and paintings, the Royal museums of Fine Arts pay tribute to this artist, who has been making the paper sing for seven decades. A one-way trip to the world of imagination.

WIELS – Jacqueline de Jong: The Ultimate Kiss / Regenerate

01-05-2021 > 15-08-2021

Themes such as humour, eroticism, violence and political engagement: they dominate the work of committed Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong - and now WIELS, where the artist's idiosyncratic logic takes you in tow along her experimental figurative oeuvre.

That after every disaster or setback, humanity will straighten its back and reinvent itself is proven by the artists in Regenerate. After more than a year of pandemics and isolation, this group exhibition offers a critical, yet optimistic view of the contemporary world. About old and new normals.

Jewish Museum of Belgium - Ellis Island / Mathieu Pernot

30-04-2021 > 29-08-2021
19-02-2021 > 19-09-2021

Migration: a theme of all times, but also more topical than ever. In the group exhibition Ellis Island, artists work with themes such as exile and dislocation. Photographer Mathieu Pernot adds a specific and symbolic space and time: the island of Lesbos in 2020. Together with its 'inhabitants', Pernot tells a story with multiple voices.

CENTRALE - BXL Universel II : multipli.City

25-03-2021 > 12-09-2021

For its fifteenth anniversary, the CENTRALE celebrates its mother city in BXL Universel II: multipli.City. Interventions of artists and citizen initiatives together create a unique portrait of the Belgian capital. Whereas the first part of the project took place shortly after the attacks in 2016, this part came about under the yoke of the pandemic: two defining moments, for both artists and city.

La Fonderie - 'Along in the drum. The laundry from yesterday to tomorrow'

22-12-2020> 22-08-2021

Today, all you have to do is press the button of a machine. But washing clothes has long been a gruelling and time-consuming chore! 'A job for women'... Discover the history of washing and what it says about our society today.

Comics Art Museum - United Comics of Belgium

02-04-2021 > 12-09-2021

Through the work of 27 authors, United Comics of Belgium sketches a picture of the contemporary comics scene in 2020, covering different generations, genres, styles and media. A diverse and effervescent exhibition!

Art et marges museum - Love song

06-05-2021 > 26-09-2021

This summer music can be heard again in concert halls and on festival terrains, but also .... in the art et marges museum! Underground music of course exists in all styles, shapes and sizes, but it is the love song that the museum is putting in the spotlight in the coming months. Musicians from the margins will be making themselves heard and singing the praises of love. Sweet summer, sweet museum visit.

Train World - From Peking to Hankow: a Belgian adventure in China

07-05-2021 > 10-10-2021

The train connects places and people, it takes you in tow towards the undiscovered. This summer, Train World takes you to China and tells the unknown story of Jean Jadot, a Belgian engineer who led the construction of the Beijing-Hankow railway line at the beginning of the 20th century. Also for this occasion, Belgium and China joined forces: artists Li Kunwu and François Schuiten added an artistic aspect to the whole. An exhibition that (literally) speaks.

iMAL - Hyper Organisms

24-06-2021 > 19.09.2021

An exhibition that explores the complex relationship between living beings and machines? Find it in iMAL, Art Center for Digital Cultures & Technology.

Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain - Icons

06-05-2021 > 24-10-2021

Since their creation, religious icons have been a source of inspiration for artists and believers; at Villa Empain, they will inspire you. Icons shows the icon as muse with a spiritual dimension. From the earliest examples from Europe and the Middle East to modern and contemporary ones, this unique selection is guaranteed to take you into higher spheres.

Erasmus House - Sün Evrard: Swinging Books

30-05-2021 > 24-10-2021

Sün Evrard brings the art of bookbinding out from under the dust. With the text of the books entrusted to her as a central element and with the 16th-century art of bookbinding as backdrop, Evrard brings past and present into dialogue with each other. With the help of the most diverse organic materials, the processed books come to life - and you can take that very literally in the Erasmus House: the books 'fly' through the rooms.

Autrique House - Indoor Gardens

06-05-2021 > 06-03-2022

The many voyages of discovery and trade from the early modern era are at the cradle of Art Nouveau. The common thread is botany - apparently essential to understand the aesthetic evolution of the interiors of the belle époque! And of course, there is no better place to talk about it than in the Autrique House, designed by Art Nouveau master Victor Horta.

MIMA - Double Bill

26-06-2021 > 09-01-2022

Double Bill. One ticket, two exhibitions. Drama, the Art of Laurent Durieux shows the work of Brussels illustrator and graphic artist Laurent Durieux. Balancing on the border between poster and art, his posters did not escape the scrutinising eye of major film directors. Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg are already fans, are you too?

In The ABC of Porn Cinema, we dive into the legacy of the ABC, Brussels' last cinema "for adults", which closed its doors in 2013. Four decades of archive material sketch a picture of this cinema and the world that went with it. (Not recommended for children under 16)

CIVA - Belgica : territoires d'impressions

26.06.21 > 08.10.2021

This exhibition, the result of a seminar followed by students of the Master of Fine Arts at the Université de Paris 8 aims to read, listen to and look at the multiple lives of a territory, to grasp its meaningful and meaningless traces! It presents itself as a colourful mosaic for connoisseurs and curious alike and speaks to the imagination of each and everyone of us.

Can't get enough of vacationing in your own city? Check out the full calendar of exhibitions and activities.