Girls Heart Brussels discovers Brussels’ queer art scene

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIEL, Girls Heart Brussels

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIELS

From 24th to 26th of April the second edition of Girls heart Brussels was held in town, a way for anyone to see the Belgian capital from a queer/ feminist framing. While the first edition was more focused on the exploration of the lesbian world and its hotspots  in the city, this edition is the result of a further evolution of the purposes of the event. Under the direction of Jessica Gysel, Girls Heart Brussels aimed at going beyond a weekend full of parties, in order to provide a more content-driven approach and represent a culturally enriching experience.

This year all this was done through a wide look to the contemporary art scene that the city has to offer. It is not a coincidence that it has been chosen for the event  the same weekend of the  Brussels Art Fair. The exhibition, as well as the events related to it, is an attempt to increase the visibility and popularity of contemporary art in Brussels; the festival is meant both for experts and for the wider public. The fair aims to be a space of comparison and growth, as shown by the talk hosted by the Dutch artist Louwrien Wijers.

This accord between art and queer scene, which represents the main thread of this edition of Girls Heart Brussels, doesn’t come out of the blue, considering that Brussels has already hosted a great number of interesting lesbian/feminist women working mainly in creative contexts.

Oliver Osborne, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Girls Heart Brussels

Oliver Osborne, Galerie Catherine Bastide

The weekend plan gave the participants the opportunity to examine a large number of contemporary art initiatives and art places. Among these it is worth mentioning especially the show Sample Book by Haegue Yang at Dépendance Gallery, as well as the work by the duo Ann Veronica Janssens and Michel François, hosted in the evocative exhibition venue of fashion brand Hermes, La Verrière, located behind the boutique, in a former garage with a pyramid-shaped glass roof.

Ann Veronica Janssens and Michel François, La Verrière, Girls Heart Brussels

Ann Veronica Janssens and Michel François, La Verrière

The program included a stop at the Poppositions Art Fair, a collection of galleries and hybrid art spaces in abandoned offices. The fair also hosted the Foreseen project, created in 2012 by Lisa Lapierre. The project offers young artists a protected environment, where they can express themselves outside of the pressure of the academic context. The curators team, composed of six members, decided to open an ephemeral office for the fair; the public was invited to take place in a comfort zone, around a bowl of instant noodle and some tea, to freely discuss about the work of the artists.

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIEL, Girls Heart Brussels

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIELS

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIEL, Girls Heart Brussels

Work/Travail/Arbeid by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, WIELS

Finally, the WIELS contemporary art centre hosted the touching performance by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Work/Travail/Arbeid is the consequence of her rethinking of her stage piece Vortex Temporum for the dramatically different context of a museum. For nine weeks, dancers and musicians performed live, over the entire opening hours of the exhibition, producing a performance stream without a clear beginning or end. While normally a dance performance is an accumulation of layers, here the layers are isolated in order to highlight the beauty of the pure movement and let the observer imagine the infinite combination of overlapping layers. On the second floor, the show Body Talk faced issues such as feminism and sexuality through the work of six African women who chose to use their bodies as main form of expression and debate.

flea market, Girls Heart Brussels

Flea market, Girls Heart Brussels

Girls Heart Brussels,  supported by the Brussels Board of tourism, has been an immersion in the culture of Brussels. Participants were able to get the pulse of the vibrant artistic scene in the city, as well as of the lesbian reality and its lively nightlife. Looking forward to the next edition!

Analog photographs by Arianna

Leave a Reply

by Arianna Bertolotti
in Focus on Europe

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory