What’s on: Flemish Masters in their rightful places


Also on the agenda for June are the return of a much-loved queer festival and the first Belgian show of a celebrated Cuban artist

Flemish Masters in Situ

Bruegel may be getting all the attention this year as Flanders and Brussels mark the 450th anniversary of his death – but there’s plenty of love for the other Flemish Masters all summer long. A series of performances, tours and other events around the region introduce visitors to the artists’ work in the locations they were originally made for, frequently off the beaten track and in places normally off-limits to the public.

Flemish Masters in Situ takes you to churches, chapels, monasteries, begijnhofs, castles and town halls to experience often unknown works. There’s a guided tour of Saint Dymphna’s church in Geel with its stunning 15th-century oak altarpiece, dedicated to the town’s patron saint who was a pioneer in early psychiatric care. There’s a boat trip from Aalst to Dendermonde where you’ll learn about the life and work of Rubens and van Eyck, and there are concerts in Brussels and Sint-Niklaas featuring music inspired by Pieter Thys and Theodoor van Loon. And that’s just for starters. 1 June to 30 September, across Flanders and Brussels


Queer festival Strangelove is transforming Antwerp’s alternative artistic meeting place Het Bos into a jungle full of wild animals of all stripes. Come and enjoy films, workshops, concerts, an art show, performance and parties into the small hours. As ever, the festival serves up a host of diverse acts. This year there’s a musical homage to the late feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer, and queer-punk road movie The Whisper of the Jaguar, followed by the chance to meet director Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau. Hang around for the birds of paradise and nightingales of the Open Curtain Queer Cabaret, lie back in the festival’s cave and enjoy the sounds of Somatic DJing for Horizontal People, or dance to the colourful sounds of Munich band Pollyester and Venezuela’s Bear Bones, Lay Low. 6-8 June, Het Bos, Ankerrui 5-7, Antwerp

Beeldig Hof ter Saksen

This summer, art comes to the Hof ter Saksen park in Beveren. Eight artists who teach at the port city’s famed art academy were challenged to turn the park upside down with works with the theme “displaced”, “disturbed” or “smiling”. Visit the park with a guide, explore by yourself or download a kids’ map from the website and hunt for the treasure hidden among the exhibition. Until 29 September, Park Hof ter Saksen, Zandstraat, Beveren

Ria Pacquée/Ana Mendieta

Middelheim Museum welcomes two big names from the world of visual and performance art to its outdoor sculpture garden: Belgian Ria Pacquée and a Belgian premiere for Cuban Ana Mendieta. Pacquée examines the concept of identity using her body as a tool, via performances and body art, installations and video works. The show features new sculptural installations and performances by the artist, plus a programme with guest artists from Japan, the Philippines and Korea and existing works from the museum’s collection. Mendieta’s work, meanwhile, opens up perspectives on how we humans relate to our surroundings. The works selected here express Mendieta’s fascination with the elemental energy of earth, water, air and fire. Until 22 September, Middelheim Museum, Middelheimlaan 61, Antwerp

Photo (top): Antwerp’s restored Hofkamer, part of the Flemish Masters In Situ programme
© Herita/Lucid

Photo (centre): Ria Pacquée, The wind will blow away the smell of the boyfriend who left for no reason
© Ria Pacquée, Photo Ans Brys