From Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 October, artists and cultural organisations are taking the stage in 40 Brussels’ museums to eclipse the gloom of 2020 and offer a programme that is 100% safe, comforting, relaxed and, above all, positive!
1. A comeback to solidarity and fragility
It has been a trying, unpredictable year. For the event sector as well as for the museums, the new realities are tough, but they, under the watchful eye of our non-profit organisation Brussels Museums, are determined to offer Brussels residents and visitors new genuine moments of carefree enjoyment.
With COME♡BACK, Brussels Museums wishes to offer a space of solidarity to artists and associations who do not or no longer have the opportunity to express themselves and perform as easily since 13 March. Unlike the museums that have been able to reopen since 18 May, many cultural players (artists, actors, musicians, guides, concert halls, theatres, etc.) have not yet been able to resume their activities.
The museums themselves have had to adapt their programming to guarantee safety, often at the expense of their necessary financial sustainability. Through this event, which is adapted to the health measures linked to COVID-19, COME♡BACK wishes to offer a small bubble of oxygen to the cultural sector while at the same time warning the public, but also our authorities, about its uncertain future and its fragility.
Through collaborations between museums and external artistic and event partners, COME♡BACK offers a unique multidisciplinary programme in each participating museum and a range of extra muros activities.
Upon reservation and in compliance with security measures, the museums become once more places of intimacy where you can escape for a few hours from the speed of everyday life and the turmoil of the coronavirus. On the programme are moments of escape, some seventy different activities, in small groups only: concerts, workshops, performances, artist meetings, children’s entertainment, original guided tours, outdoor walks and of course exhibitions. Among the many events, visitors can enjoy:
- At the ISELP Institute for Contemporary Arts, a workshop of ancient printing techniques in sunlight (cyanotype) in the context of the exhibition “INSPIRE” which questions the passing of time and its intensity.
- At the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, Madame la Professeure Postérieur has you switch off your mind to let your body speak. A wild and exhilarating aerobic session will remind you of the humor of certain comic strips.
- At the Erasmus House, total immersion in artworks through the practice of mindfulness with Mindful Art Appreciation, the fragility of ceramics with Terre Source or a stroll through time between Neerpede and Cureghem with KlareLijn.
- A magical moment at the MIMA where Brussels visual artist duo “Floop VJ” and the DJ Skuomachine meet and animate monsters and shapes from the ZOO exhibition.
- At BELvue Museum, Beguided offers a sung guided tour that describes Belgium through the Belgian (and non-Belgian) songs that have shaped its history, from la Brabançonne to Sandra Kim.
- In its brand-new “Living Planet” Gallery, the Museum of Natural Sciences casts the sound performance “DIVE” created by Ine Claes and Mathieu Calleja in collaboration with Juan Parra Cancino. It is based on the sound of our dreams and transports us into a moving and mysterious atmosphere where the impulses of the day take over.
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2. A comeback but differently
For visitors, COME♡BACK is an opportunity to (re-)discover the heritage of Brussels and simply see museums again as places of entertainment. After long months of absence, Brussels Museums wants to offer visitors a positive, energizing experience.
In addition to the activities planned in the museums, Brussels Museums has called on a number of organisations to offer themed guided tours that question the classic representations within museums. The aim is to make people discover the still little-known stories of Brussels and, more generally, those that are often erased in our society and still too little present in the museum. This programme is in line with the philosophy of our other project Open Museum, an awareness-raising programme which aims to make Brussels museums structurally more inclusive and participatory. COME♡BACK offers its visitors:
- L-Tour tours: Since 2014, L-Tour has been organising guided tours from Brussels to present the history (herstory and history) of the LGBTQI+ communities, via lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex personalities and communities that have left their mark on society.
- Decolonial guided tours with the Collectif Mémoire Coloniale: a look back at the colonial history of Brussels and Belgium.
- Feminist and decolonial guided tours with Bamko-Cran vzw. These visits focus on the role women played during the colonial period.
- Guided tours by Architecture qui dégenre: the discovery of Brussels’ matrimony.
3. Comeback to the future
After the consecutive cancellations of our two flagship events, Museum Night Fever and Brussels Museums Nocturnes, COME♡BACK now personifies the new daily life of museums and events. Brussels Museums, the participating museums and the associations and artists associated with this project hope to present a necessary point of reflection on the future of the sector.