‘It beats aimless walking’: Mechelen’s streets become covid art gallery
Share article:
Share article:

‘It beats aimless walking’: Mechelen’s streets become covid art gallery

Credit: The Brussels Times/ Jules Johnston

Several artists left displaced by the coronavirus pandemic have taken over the windows of coffee shops and bars in the Flemish city of Mechelen, effectively turning the entire city into an urban art gallery.

“This is the result of us trying to find a way to work under the circumstances,” Lieven Hendrickx – one of the co-organisers of the Prohibition Exhibition told The Brussels Times. “We’re trying not to let it die,” added Gijs Vanhee, the other organiser of the event.

Credit: The Brussels Times/ Jules Johnston

Both Hendrickx and Vanhee – like many other artists – have found their circumstances substantially altered by the coronavirus, forcing them to adapt to a world where exhibitions are near impossible in the traditional format.

“Many artists have had to cancel planned expos and lose their income as a result,” the duo explained. “The vacant catering establishments have made their business available as exhibition space. Together with other artists, we fill the vacant businesses with art ”

Working alongside fellow Mechelen artists, local coffee shops and bars all but shut under current measures, Prohibition Exhibition is trying to give people something else to do in the midst of lockdown.

Credit: The Brussels Times/ Jules Johnston

“This was all a little bit last minute,” Hendrickx explained. “We both had exhibitions cancelled in the last year and this was a way to still display our work.”

“When we started planning the shops hadn’t even reopened yet,” said Vanhee. “Now people have something to do after they have shopped when they would usually have stopped at a bar,” Hendrickx added.

The tour encompasses 13 stops across the city, with a focus on local Mechelen artists ranging from sculpture to prints in the windows of coffee shops open for takeaway and bars that haven’t seen regular customers in months.

“It beats aimless walking,” added Vanhee.”In the current situation, there’s a lot you can’t do, but walking is something you can.”

The exhibition is planned to last until the end of January, but could potentially extend as circumstances develop.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...