Visionary Belgium, the exhibition that marks the 175th anniversary of Belgium, opens with a fairground attraction, Carrousel (1999) by Carsten Höller. Belgium, that is carnival. A country where the king steps down for one day to allow a law to pass, which he refused to sign.
About a year ago nearly 1.2 million visitors flocked to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin to see an exhibition of highlights from the collection of the MoMA. After the show the Neue Nationalgalerie had to replace the carpet, which had been worn out by the visitors. Now the Neue Nationalgalerie exhibits not only its new carpet but also some of its own treasures and some selected works from the Marx, Van de Loo and Flick collections. There's much to be seen and enjoyed, besides the new carpet, but it appears that the people of Berlin can't be bothered.
The Master and Margarita is a magnificent novel. It is hilariously funny and a brilliant satire, but this is not a review of The Master and Margarita, but of Frank Castorf's play of the same title. How do you adapt for theater a book set at different locations and during different time periods, in which witches fly on brooms and someone's body disappears from his suit, which continues performing its daily duties?
Berlinde de Bruyckere's work is as poignant as sculptures get. Once you've seen them, approached them, walked around them, they will get under your skin and stay there for some time to come. It is their undeniable beauty, the tenderness with which they have been crafted, that gives them their humanity and that keeps you from turning away.
I have a confession to make. Ever since I was a child I have loved the smell of fresh concrete and asphalt. And whenever I am at a gas station I like to take a deep breath to fill my nose with the smell of gasoline. I know this may not be the healthiest thing to do, but it smells so good.