Weapon Of Beauty

2010 in 10 – FIVE: Canvas Collectie – La Collection RTBF
January 14, 2010, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Art, TV | Tags: , , ,


Belgian television channel Canvas just launched the second edition of De Canvas Collectie – a mix between the RCA Summer Show and the BBC’s School of Saatchi – where they issue an appeal to all creative folk, both the well-known and the unknown, to help produce a snapshot of todays art.
In 2008 a total of 4,500 candidates responded; the works of 250 of these were approved by a demanding jury and presented in an exhibition that attracted 15,000 visitors interested in getting an idea of the diversity and creativity of art in todays Flanders.

The idea caught on the other side of Belgiums linguistic divide and the French-language RTBF is now involved in the 2010 edition: the new, Belgium-wide project now includes a competition, television programs and, already, a retrospective at the Bozar from 07.05.2010 until 06.06.2010.

The 2008 revealed some really great artwork and the exhibition at the Bozar in Brussels was surprisingly good. Let’s hope the tv program is equally entertaining as 2 years ago and that the quality of the submitted work is equally high.


The Kings of Donkey Kong
October 22, 2008, 4:16 pm
Filed under: TV | Tags: , , , , , ,

Belgian TV channel Canvas has a great program called ‘Virus‘ in which they preview new series, special documentaries, underground movies, etcetera. It’s a sort of lab to test new stuff and get some reactions. They never really advertise what they will show. It’s a sort of surprise/guerilla TV.

Last week they had a marvellous documentary called ‘The King of Kong – For a fistful of quarters’. It’s starting to be a sort of theme here on the blog, but it’s all about – wahey! – 1980ies computer games. The documentary follows the adventures of school teacher Steve Wiebe – all round good guy, humble, funny – in his quest to beat the longstanding (and regarded as unbeatable) high score of Billy Mitchell at Donkey Kong, pretty much the quintessential 1980ies arcade game. Billy Mitchell is a bit of a legend with a whole posse around him that adores him like a golden moneyshitting, err, donkey.
When Wiebe videotapes himself beating Mitchell’s high score and sends it to Twin Galaxies (the organisation which keeps track of all the high scores)  to get his high score recognised and added to the official high score table, some sort of Shakespearian saga ensues. Twin galaxies is closely linked with Mitchell and are reluctant to recognize the new score. So they use the lowest of tricks, cite rules which they break themselves a few hours later, dismantling Wiebe’s arcade machine, and so on. Fucking hilarious stuff and must-see TV. ‘The King of Kong’ is out now on DVD, don’t miss it.

Photo: Steve Wiebe (and son) at work

PS Don’t forget to enjoy Mitchell’s excellent mullet.

Veerle Beckers
June 22, 2008, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Art, TV | Tags: , , ,

The London Royal Academy of Arts has an annual Summer Exhibition which is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world, showing new work by both known and unknown living artists. This year it’s in its 240th year and the exhibition includes around 1,200 works.

Also this year, for the first time a similar event has been held in Belgium. On a much smaller scale though and organised by a television station (Canvas). It was called the Canvas Collectie and out of 17.000 entered works a jury of professionals and artists (including Jan Fabre, Luc Tuymans, Wim Delvoye,…) chose 250 works which were on display at the Bozar museum in Brussels. In the last week of the exhibition there was a public vote for a winner and also a number of prizes from a professional jury.
I went to see the exhibition, and my favourite artist by far was Veerle Beckers. She was one of the few artists who got no less than 3 works into the Bozar exhibition:


Teenage Wasteland

Fake Empire

Slightly disturbing images and painted with great skill (which you are sadly unable to see in the photos that I use here). I couldn’t contain myself -again- and bought this work from her:

When the lights go out – Victim 2

At the end of the Canvas Collection it turned out that my taste actually isn’t so bad, as she turned out to be one of the 5 winners. She won a solo exhibition which will open at the end of August at the KBC tower in Antwerp.

Portishead – We Carry On @ Later with Jools Holland
April 24, 2008, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Music, TV | Tags: , , ,

I promise I’m not gonna make a habit out of stuffing this blog full of YouTube videos from ‘Later’ performances, but this Portishead track is just too good to ignore. The last 2 minutes of it are just pure bliss.

‘We Carry On’ is a song off the new Third album. You can check out the full album here: http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/luisterpaal/39506770

Yeasayer on ‘Later with Jools Holland’
April 17, 2008, 11:57 am
Filed under: Music, TV | Tags: , , ,

Did anyone see YEASAYER on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ last week? Damn, they were good. I had checked them out on MySpace before, but it wasn’t untill I saw them perform ‘2080’ and ‘Sunrise’ on Later, that I realised how good they actually are. This is one of those bands that brings their music to a different level in a live setting. They kind of remind me of Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem and even the Tragically Hip.
I ordered their cd from their website quickly after the broadcast (thanks to the current state of the dollar this cost me less than 10 euro, shipping included!).
So here’s your chance to catch up and feel the excitment I felt when I saw them perform. If you don’t like this stuff, I’m not talking to you again.  (here’s your chance to get rid off me!)
(oh and do check out the drummer, he’s excellent)

Yeasayer – 2080 (live on Later April 8th 2008 )

Yeasayer – Sunrise (live on Later April 8th 2008 )