What’s on: Museums back open with new exhibitions


Museums in Belgium are allowed to re-open next week, and some of them have brand new exhibitions to show off

Rodin, Meunier & Minne

Looking to the distant past to inspire a modern revolution might seem paradoxical, but that’s exactly what sculptors Auguste Rodin, Constantin Meunier and George Minne did. The French and Belgian artists all bridged the turn of the 20th century and brought to it a new form of personal, naturalist sculpture.

Ironically, they were all inspired by forms from the middle ages. M Museum juxtaposes masterpieces by the three men with works that inspired them, revealing the remarkable and sometimes unexpected parallels between two traditions. 18 May to 30 August, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven

Ruud Van Empel

The Hangar Photo Art Center is celebrating its reopening with a retrospective of Dutch photographer Ruud van Empel, whose striking digital constructions have made him famous the world over. His intricate collage process delivers images that seem magical, nearly cartoon-like, and in which people and nature come together, sometimes organically and sometimes jarringly. This major exhibition contains 90 of his work created over the last 25 years. Many of them have become iconic. 19 May to 18 July, Kasteleinplein 18, Brussels


Dooltocht: A Desperate Quest to Find a Base for Hope
 is a mouthful of a title, but then this retrospective of the work of Antwerp artist Els Dietvorst is indeed elaborate. It brings together her large and complex oeuvre, from social actions to documentaries to sculpture to drawings to installation work. Forced to sum her up, M HKA museum says that “her work focuses on the many forms of social communication and interpersonal relationships and conflicts”. M HKA re-opens on 19 May. Until 30 August, Leuvenstraat 32, Antwerp

Amuz concerts at home

Since we’re still waiting for concert halls to open, the Amuz music centre in Antwerp is offering classical concerts online that have been recorded in their gorgeous chapel. But there’s a catch: They only announce which concert will be featured on Saturday morning, then it’s available only until the following Monday morning. Register for their newsbrief or check their Facebook page every Saturday to find it.

Avila streaming

The timing couldn’t be better for the launch of Avila, a new movie streaming service. Three Belgian filmmakers and a producer hand-pick auteur and art-house cinema. The idea is to give quality world cinema an outlet where it won’t be drowned out by the massive offer on bigger streaming sites. Avila will feature fiction, documentary and experimental films and is starting off with 25 from Belgium. There are classics like Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles and Suzanne’s Fugue but also more recent flicks such as A Sea Change, a documentary about the maritime boarding school in Ostend, and Étangs Noir, in which a young man becomes obsessed with delivering a package to its rightful owner. Movies can be rented for €3.50, are available to watch for three days, and all of them come with subtitles in English, French or Dutch.

Photos, from top: ©Dirk Pauwels/M Museum; ©Ruud van Empel, “World #7”, 2005, courtesy Hangar, Brussels; ©Linckx/M HKA; ©Stany Dederen; courtesy Film School Rejects