This month Brussels welcomed an incredible new art venue: the Kanal – Centre Pompidou http://www.kanal.brussels/, located in the former 1930s Citroën Yser Garage on the banks of the Brussels-Charleroi canal.
The opening marks the first phase of an even more ambitious project, which will see this wonderful Art Deco structure transformed into a breathtaking 35,000 m2 space for contemporary and modern art and architecture by the end of 2022. Work will start on the transformation in Autumn 2019, but until then, this spectacular industrial cathedral is hosting a taster of what the space will become in its “raw” state, hosting a year of temporary art and architecture exhibitions, installations and brand new works from Brussels-based artists.
There will also be a full programme of performances, concerts and events in partnership with some of the city’s most prestigious cultural venues: Flagey, Botanique, Bozar and more.
One of the aims of this year of creativity is to reflect and remember Kanal’s former identity as a factory and garage and the art and its surroundings blend harmoniously: even the staff uniforms are blue workers’ overalls! Some of the highlights of this inaugural exhibition include a DIY film studio from celebrated director Michel Gondry, former office spaces filled with works from the likes of Marcel Broodthaers and Jenny Holzer and fantastical installations from Jean Tanguy.
There is also a food market offering a range of street food treats, and Kanalstore http://kanalstore.brussels/, a pop-up store offering original and surprising “made in Belgium” creations, such as bright, beautiful fashion from Jessie Lecomte http://www.jessielecomte.com/the-grace-of-a-birds-wing#0 , intricate paper jewellery from L’Aire http://laire.be/ and Cumulus waterproofs http://francoise-pendville.be/cumulus/ , perfect for the Belgian climate!
More than 20,000 visitors came to check out Kanal on its opening weekend and it continues to attract big crowds, but since it is open from 12 until 22:00 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday, there are plenty of opportunities to pick a quiet moment to visit this amazing new space.
Kanal Centre Pompidou, http://www.kanal.brussels/
Adults 14€, 12-18 year olds 6€, free for under 12s