That Belgium – and by extension Brussels – is known for its beer culture is the least one can say. This has resulted in considerable (industrial) heritage of breweries that is increasingly being reconverted. Wiels – and its neighbour Brass – are the most famous examples. But there is also the reconversion of the Belle Vue brewery in Molenbeek, where the MIMA museum for ‘street culture’ is housed as well as the splendid Art Deco Vandenheuvel brewery at Gare de l’Ouest/Weststation, the headquarters of the villains in Nicolas Provost’ urban thriller ‘The Invader’.
A lesser-known example is Brasserie Atlas, a deserted complex in Anderlecht. The complex was built in different phases, but the most striking element is the tower of around thirty metres in Art Deco style from the 1920s. A part of the complex is used by artists living and working there. Though normally not accessible for the public – apart from the occasional parties and concerts – one can now visit the building – upon pre-booking – during the beautiful exhibition ‘La Poursuite des choses évidentes’ with works of artists who have their studios in the complex. Most works are perfectly integrated in the scenic building, with dark tunnels, staircases and various rooms that offer different atmospheres.
Nicolas Bourthoumieux uses the existing lighting in the building and presents them here in a solemn atmosphere. Clara van der Belen made a model of the iconic building, cast in concrete. Tom Rider & Delphine Wibaux use one of the rusty barrels as an echo chamber, engendering a vibrating sound from within. In the so-called Chapelle, the place where the Gueze beer was brewn, Nancy Moreno shows her works. One of her drawings depicts a pigeon, for a long time the only dweller in the run-down building. The works on view are of a high standard and skilfully installed in this most striking venue. Definitely worth a visit!
Participating artists: Antoine Jacqz, Clara van der Belen, Nicolas Bourthoumieux, Jonas Meier, Julien Dumond, Salomé Boltoukhine, Douglas Eynon , Tom Rider & Delphine Wibaux, Gijs Milius, Claude Cattelain, Nancy Moreno and Régis Jocteur Monrozier.