Author: Olivier Hottois

Kids’ workshop around our “PASSAGE” exhibition: fabrics tell stories! Let’s explore them!

Have you ever wondered where the patterns that decorate the fabrics in your home or on your clothes come from? And how are their colors made? During this week’s workshop, we’ll explore the vast history of textile colors and patterns, and what they say about us and the world we live in. An opportunity, for once, to create our own colors from our environment (using dye plants from wasteland, kitchen scraps, etc.), and to reinject meaning into the images that adorn our fabrics.

The workshop will be conducted in French by Amandine Brun Sauvant, a textile designer trained at the Beaux-Arts of Clermont-Ferrand and La Cambre.

When? July 8 to 12, 2024
Who is it for? Children aged 9 to 12
Price: €90 for the workshop (€70 with Pass Cultuur Marolles)

LIMITED PLACES (max 10 children)

To register, please contact edu@mjb-jmb.org


Performance : David Bernstein – Even if it’s not true, it’s well found – 6.06 from 6pm

The title Even if it’s not true, it’s well found is a literal translation of the Italian expression Se non e vero, e ben trovato – meaning that even though a story might be made up, it is still worth telling. The work consists of a series of abstract sculptures that have had fictional stories written about them. These stories were generated from associations while looking at the artworks, and in that way, they reveal another “truth” about the object. 

Three of these sculptures are displayed within the museum with accompanying stories, told during the performance. Each sculpture is made of different materials – various kinds of wood, brass, and steel – to allow for different tactile experiences. The sculptures’ shapes are inspired by ancestral ritual instruments and modern industrial design objects. This work aims to look at the power of imagination to give different readings to the same object. It emphasizes the queerness of objects, celebrating the idea that one thing can be several things at once.


This event is part of the “Laboratory of Rituals” performance cycle.

At the heart of the Laboratory of Rituals project, four performance artists – Hilal Aydoğdu, David Bernstein, Barbara Salomé Felgenhauer et Zinaïda Tchelidze – are committed to creating new mythologies that re-en­chant the world.

In this artistic laboratory, these artists explore the depths of the collective imagination, venturing into the mean­ders of history, culture and tradition. They invite us to plunge into their artistic universes, to cross passages between the visible and invisible worlds, in order to discover new perspectives and new understandings of the world.

The Laboratory of Rituals is more than just an exhibition. It’s a space for artistic exploration, where cross-cultu­ral performers meet, question and share their worldviews. It’s a call for reflection and wonder, as well as the creation of new mythologies that revive our existence.


Program :
6:00pm – Doors open
6:30pm to 7:30pm : Performance “Even if it’s not true, it’s well found
by David Bernstein
7:30pm – Drink
8:30pm – Doors close

Price : Pay what you can (Recommended price 6€)

Passage. Textiles & Rituals is the last temporary exhibition of the Jewish Museum of Belgium. By the end of 2024, the museum will close its doors for renovation works!

It’s a new stage! Passage: Textiles & Rituals invites you to explore the idea of transformation.

Groundfloor

An immersive installation by the artist Charlemagne Palestine, titled AA BATT BEARR BARR MIZVAH INN MESHUGALAND. The main theme is the rite of passage to adulthood.

First floor

In the second part of the exhibition, you’ll witness a dialogue between ancient ritual objects and contemporary artworks: a passage between past and present in the same space! A real journey through time!

Click here for the full brochure.

The body of the artist proposes itself as a living altar, offered for a moment of reflection, meditation, prayer, and request, not for a god or saint, but for the world.  

In the Christian religion, lighting a candle opens one’s heart to God and thus raises a prayer towards him. It is also a way of expressing one’s attachment to a saint in particular by making a request or even thanking him. An offering accompanies this approach.  

Here, the ritual is proposed to allow oneself to express their concern, fear, and sorrow for the world – it is a way of reacting to the environmental despair that we are currently experiencing. 

This performance is inspired both by the artist’s rituals in a women’s circle to celebrate, among other things, the solstices and equinoxes, and Joanna Macy’s essay, “Acting with Environmental Despair” which asks the question: “Can we recognize our sorrow for the world and live with it in a way that affirms our existence and frees our power to act?”  

A year ago, the first version of this performance was presented during the Trouble Festival. In this context, more than sixty sorrows were laid at the foot of the altar. These anonymous sorrows will be engraved next to each other on one of the walls of the exhibition, during several one-off sessions between April 11 and September 1.  

 

Performance from 6:30 pm

 

Discussion between Luc Benhamou and Sonia Wieder-Atherton and musical moments 

Chantal Akerman was born in Brussels in 1950. Her parents, originally from Poland, had settled in Belgium in the 1930s. During the war, part of her family suffered deportation and were murdered in Auschwitz. The ensuing silence guided both her work as a filmmaker and her life as a woman.

Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Luc Benhamou wish to share a moment of exchange by questioning Chantal Akerman’s relationship with Judaism. Some of the possible approaches are through her work, but also through her positions on several issues, her relationship to biblical texts and to transmission. Music will also be present through the voice of Sonia Wieder-Atherton’s cello.

LUC BENHAMOU :

Born in Paris in 1959, Luc Benhamou studied cinematography at the Insas in Brussels. He subsequently worked as a cinematographer, authored short films and studied Judaism. He framed and/or lit all Chantal Akerman’s films between 1983 and 1988, among these the notables Les Années 80 (1983) L’homme à la valise (1983), Un jour Pina a demandé (1983), J’ai faim, j’ai froid (1984), Family Business (1984), Golden eighties (1984), Letters Home (1986), Histoires d’Amérique (1988).

SONIA WIEDER-ATHERTON :

Cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton studied at the Paris Conservatoire, then went on studying further with Natalia Chakhovskaya at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow. She returned home at the age of 25, where she met Chantal Akerman. Their work and personal relation were set to last forever.  Their worlds came together in film scores and stage creations. Chantal Akerman also directed several films with SWA, who performed works ranging from Monteverdi to Dutilleux. Their collaboration on the music for “Histoires d’Amérique” gave rise to a recording of liturgical Jewish chants for cello and piano. 

Program:

6 pm doors open

6:30 pm start of discussion (approx. 1h30)

8 p.m. end (no drinks)

Credit: Collections CINEMATEK – © Fondation Chantal Akerman

Celebrate Pesach with us!

We’re delighted to invite you to a one-day Pesach celebration on April 14 at 3pm.
Pesach, also known as Passover, is one of Judaism’s three pilgrimage holidays, commemorating the exodus of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt according to the Torah’s Book of Exodus. The holiday evokes the notion of renewal, of freedom, and is honored through several rituals, including the consumption of unleavened bread (matza) and the celebration of the Passover meal.

Program :

Matzot-making workshop for children: Our young participants will have the opportunity to take part in a Matza bread-making workshop. They’ll have the opportunity to discover the importance of this ancestral tradition by getting their hands dirty.

Guided tour of the “Passage – Textiles & Ritual” exhibition: We also invite you to a guided tour of our “Passage – Textiles & Ritual” exhibition, a fascinating exploration of Jewish textiles and rituals.

This event is organized in collaboration with the European Jewish Community Centre (EJCC).

As part of NOCTURNES, the third “Passage” tour will open on April 11 in our Project Space, inviting you to explore the contemporary resurgence of beliefs and rituals through a program of unique performances.

In Turkish culture, when you welcome someone, you give them your bed, your home. Misafirperverlik means «hospitality » in Turkish. The term has Arabic roots: «musafir», «safar», which also means «hunger» and «he or she who goes on an expedition, who goes far away». And Persian roots: «parvar», meaning «to feed, to bring up, to educate». Misafirperver therefore means «he or she
who feeds his or her guest».

The performance is two-fold: «the preparation» and «the meal».
Duration: 2 h00.


Hilal Aydoğdu (1998, Liège), holds a Master’s degree in drawing from the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Liège and has practiced performance art for several years, in depth at La Cambre.


Hilal questions the place of women in a man’s world. She proposes to apprehend the devices that work to establish a deleterious hegemony – that of patriarchy – mainly through culture, by exploring the morbid lexicon of the values and injunctions it conveys: honor, virginity, obedience. Performance and installation allow her words to take shape; by breaking the boundaries between the object and
its flesh, by playing with what can be forced together, she attempts to suggest imbalance, to let the union give rise to vertigo, and vertigo to fall.


She aims to confront the order that strikes in the name of ideals that damage women with the consequences of its reign, reflecting back to it the horror and pain they generate.


Program :

  • guided tour of the “Passage” exhibition at 6pm (FR)
  • guided tour of the “Passage” exhibition at 6:30pm (NL)
  • Performance Misafirperver by Hilal Aydoğdu from 6 pm to 8 pm (FR,NL,EN)

    For bookings –> via the Nocturnes website (ticket sales open on March 25)

This spring, the Jewish Museum of Belgium is delighted to present an exhibition from the Center for Jewish-Moroccan Culture (CCJM) titled “Tanger. Ville mythique” (Mythical Tangier).

Through a vast array of archives and artworks from the collection of the Center for Judeo-Moroccan Culture, visitors are invited on a journey through time and space to discover this city with a thousand faces.

As a bridge between Africa and Europe, a western beacon in the Mediterranean, Tangier has always held a special place in the history of the Kingdom of Morocco. Its strategic location has made it a coveted area since antiquity by major empires and conquerors, with successive invasions shaping its customs and traditions. These influences are still evident in its craftsmanship, a cultural richness perceptible in both its costume art and local jewelry. The coexistence of different societies and religions – Muslims, Jews, and Europeans – makes it a cosmopolitan and unique space in Morocco, oriented towards Europe. Between land, sea, and ocean, the “Pearl of the North” offers inspiring landscapes that attract artists: painters, photographers, and filmmakers come to soak up its unique atmosphere. But Tangier is also active on the political and diplomatic stage, the scene of several major events in the history of North Africa over the centuries, as the exhibition’s journey portrays.

At the heart of the Laboratory of Rituals project, four performance artists – Hilal Aydoğdu, David Bernstein, Barbara Salomé Felgenhauer et Zinaïda Tchelidze – are committed to creating new mythologies that re-en­chant the world.

In this artistic laboratory, these artists explore the depths of the collective imagination, venturing into the mean­ders of history, culture and tradition. They invite us to plunge into their artistic universes, to cross passages between the visible and invisible worlds, in order to discover new perspectives and new understandings of the world.

Through their performances, these artists offer us intense moments where the sacred and the profane meet, where emotions blossom and questions multiply. They open doors to sensory and intellectual experiences, inviting us to reflect on our own relationship with beliefs, myths and rituals.

The Laboratory of Rituals is more than just an exhibition. It’s a space for artistic exploration, where cross-cultu­ral performers meet, question and share their worldviews. It’s a call for reflection and wonder, as well as the creation of new mythologies that revive our existence.

The Laboratory of Rituals will open on April 11 in our Project Space and invites you to explore the contemporary resurgence of beliefs and rites through a program of unique performances. The first performance will take place as part of the Nocturnes event.


Program :

MisafirperverHilal Aydoğdu – 11.04.2024

La Chapelle des peines pour le mondeBarbara Salomé Felgenhauer – 22.05.2024

Even if it’s not true, it’s well foundDavid Bernstein – 6.06.2024

To your arrival and our welcomeZinaïda Tchelidze – 1.09.2024

The last exhibition of the Jewish Museum of Belgium before closing for construction works in late 2024, Passage reflects on the idea of transformation. It explores how the spiritual blends with the profane life, how the rite combines with the ordinary, and what happens when the collective and the intimate tie together.  

The exhibition consists of three complementary paths. The first immerses us in the universe of Charlemagne Palestine. In an installation entitled «AA BATT BEARR BARR MITZVAHH INN MESHUGAHLANDDD», the artist reinterprets the transition to adulthood in the Jewish tradition. In the tradition of schmattès, the Yiddish word for rags or second-hand clothes, he reinvents the gestures of collecting, sewing, and mending the fabric that mark the history of the Jewish worlds.

Echoing the fabric assemblages of Charlemagne Palestine, the second route proposes a dialogue around textiles, by crossing the collections of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, those of the Center of Judeo-Moroccan Culture, and the interventions of four contemporary artists: Jennifer Bornstein, Richard Moszkowicz, Elise Peroi, Arlette Vermeiren. This game of free-spirited associations reminds us that textile work is, in itself, a ritual practice and that women occupy a central place in it. It also shows that fabrics are never a mere adornment: alternately, they are places of memory, symbols of celebration, or accessions to the sacred.  

Through a performances program, the third path questions the contemporary resurgence of beliefs and rites. Hilal Aydoğdu, David Bernstein, Barbara Salomé Felgenhauer, and Zinaïda Tchelidze rethink the museum space to create an intimate and sensory laboratory, conducive to reflection and exchange.

A symbolic gesture, Passage is not only the end point of an exhibition program that has been running in this building for over twenty years. This exhibition questions the future Jewish Museum, which will also imagine new forms of passages.