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What's on this week: 17-23 February
The Belgian Comic Strip Centre does more than just chronicle the history of the popular art form. It also celebrates its contemporary stars. A new exhibition shines a spotlight on one of today’s brightest: Gipi. The Italian artist, born Gianni Alfonso Pacinotti, became a bona-fide international star in 2006, when his Notes for a War Story won the prize for best comic book at the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival. He has since continued his award-winning streak and maintained an enthusiastic fan base across Europe.
Until 3 September, Belgian Comic Strip Centre, Brussels
Piano-and-violin power duo Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov interpret an eclectic selection of 19th and 20th-century composers, including Polish modernist Karol Szymanowski and experimental American pianist George Antheil.
18 February 20.00, Royal Brussels Conservatory
The Affordable Art Fair is an annual event that aims to bring art to the people with workshops, awards, presentations and, of course, plenty of vendors selling works by both established and up-and-coming artists.
17-20 February, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c, Brussels
While Barack Obama was fulfilling his American Dream as the first black president of the United States, Sylvia Arthur, a black Brit, was in Brussels pursuing the European version. Obama and Me: A One-Woman Show is an intimate reading exploring the meaning of identity, politics, power and belonging in the post-post-racial 21st century.
17 February 19.00-21.00, Muntpunt, Brussels; €6
Did you know that an Antwerpenaar carved the Baroque pulpit in the cathedral of Brussels? Or that you can find the coat of arms of the city of Antwerp on the Grote Markt? Discover these and other traces of Antwerp in the city centre with a guide. (In Dutch.)
17 February 12.30-13.30, meet near the ticket windows in Central Station, Brussels; €5
With their use of sugary colours and their often antiseptic homoeroticism, Pierre & Gilles have often been dismissed as kitsch photographers. But the word kitsch comes from the German "Kitschen" "to throw together (a work of art)" and the work of Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard is anything but thrown together. In fact their method of work and their collaboration are extremely meticulous - which has only allowed them to do from a dozen to a dozen and a half pieces per year during their 40-year career. What they produce is somewhere between photography and painting and does not leave the spectator unaffected. Seeing the original works as opposed to printed reproductions is a real eye-opener.
Until 14 May, Musée d'Ixelles
If you haven't been to the Rouge-Cloître since it was renovated and you are a fan of aerial photography, a day trip to Auderghem would be a great idea. The centre is still a wonderful combination of nature, architecture and culture, of workshops and dray horse activities, of resident artisans and their crafts. Currently the centre is showing Brussel'Air, an exhibition of aerial photographs of Brussels (pictured above) which emphasises the open spaces and urban countryside of the city providing some surprising views for us normally terrestrial creatures.
Until 23 April, Rouge-Cloître, Auderghem; free
French artist Bernadette Chéné has a thing for newsprint, which she meticulously arranges, changes and shapes into sculpture. Using wood and wood-derived products she allies the modularity of minimal art with the connection between nature and culture of the Arte Povera movement, the sculptural mechanisms of the Support/Surfaces movement and the anonymity of the artist of the Process Art movement to produce powerfully uplifting pieces. Her current show at La Forest Divonne is a retrospective of her work from 1989 to today.
Until 25 March, Galerie La Forest Divonne, Brussels