From 14 to 17 February, Bright Brussels, Festival of Light will showcase the historic heart of Brussels. Large-scale lighting installations designed by national and international artists will draw all eyes to some of the capital city’s iconic venues.
For 4 days, the Quais and Sainte-Catherine districts will be a blaze of light with a dozen different sets of lighting installations and illuminated animations.
The Bright Brussels Festival of Light is preparing to offer visitors and locals a unique opportunity to see or rediscover the richness and diversity of the districts of the center of Brussels. Monumental installations will be taking over the heart of the capital and the route will be signposted by an illuminated perimeter.
Several free guided tours will be available for visitors during the festival. There will be visits to the Vismet, Béguinage, Dansaert and Saint-Géry districts accompanied by a professional VIZIT guide to learn more about the various lighting installations.
A new feature this year: upon presentation of the brochure available at the information points, festival visitors will have access to the temporary exhibitions of the Kanal Centre Pompidou for a modest sum of €5.
As part of an initiative by the Minister-President of the Brussels Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort, and the Brussels Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Pascal Smet, visit.brussels has been given the task of coordinating the implementation of all these grandscale displays in the heart of the city.
Brussels Minister of Public Works, Pascal Smet
“Last year, the festival attracted 120,000 visitors. This year, we want to do even better. With Bright Brussels, Festival of Light we want to make our capital shine. We want to put the spotlight on our historical neighbourhoods by bringing a magical dimension to the city after nightfall. For this year’s edition we are making special efforts to improve mobility along the route to make it safer and more comfortable for visitors. Several streets in the centre will be made pedestrian for the occasion.”
Minister- President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort
The 2018 edition of Bright Brussels Festival of Light was an enormous success and we are delight that the festival will, once again, be illuminating this historical neighbourhood. This year, as we are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Brussels-Capital Region, we have decided to kick off the festivities with Njörd’s installation on the emblematic Place du Vismet.
Tetro (FR) – Njord
TETRO is to illuminate Vismet Square, creating a magical sanctuary in front of Saint Catherine’s Church with NJÖRD, created by We Come In Peace. A break in the tour will offer a chance to recapture the magic of winter and our wonderful childhood memories.
NJÖRD is a lighting installation that depicts a ballet of feathers and light in a mysterious sanctuary. The ballet of feathers invites visitors to share in the delights and discover an instant piece of magic. This piece was selected by the Festival Jury to celebrate 30 years of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Venue: Place du Vismet (Quai au bois à brûler and Quai aux briques)
Les Garages Numériques (BE) – Suite and Multiverse
The “Suite” installation is a 10 m wide vertical video screen with sound. It was created by the
Brussels-based, artist Yannick Jacquet, who originates from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, based on music by Thomas Vaquié. Making continuous use of simple graphical elements, “Suite” unfolds in a series of slow, progressive evolutions. This contemplative work was inspired by some of the principles of repetition often used in minimalism and serial musical arrangements.
Divided into 3 acts, MULTIVERSE tells the story of Boris 504 – a chimpanzee sent to the moon by the Soviet Union in 1969 and left trapped in space, never to return to Earth. From there, he explores the space-time continuum, navigating between several dimensions in the Universe.
Venue: Halles Saint-Gery
Pierre Debusschere, 254Forest (BE) – “Behind the scenes”
“Behind the scenes” is an interactive creation where visitors can discover film-making as it happens. Visitors can become actors performing under the lighting of the film-making machinery or be spectators watching the action unfold before their eyes. This physical and emotional journey reflects the light that crosses the cinema screen.
Venue: Place du Vieux Marché aux Grains
Ocubo (PT) – Light Connector
Light Connector is an interactive installation that allows the public to set off on a journey of the senses. The energy produced by the interactions between the individuals creates spectacular visual effects as it progressively builds up.
Venue: Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains
Collectif Coin (FR) – Abstract
The passage of time is an illusion. Collectif Coin, a devotee of this subject, has devised a new performance-based device: Abstract, a 90 pixel matrix in which each pixel moves on its own vertical axis. Running in a 20 minute loop that combines light, sound and movement, the interpretation of Abstract is based on the concepts of relativity. At the start of the Abstract show, the artist Maxime Houot invites members of the public to let themselves to be transported on an inward journey and to confront this relativity.
Venue: Place du Vismet in (Quai aux Briques and Quai au Bois à Brûler)
Gilles Leempoels (BE) – Voxel
Voxel is a graphic style characterised by illustrating a subject using repeated volumes. This means of expression is rather like “pixel art” transposed into a three-dimensional world. Gilles Leempoels will be putting on a sound and light show on the theme of fish, drawing inspiration directly from a “voxel” graphic simulation. The concept depicts a hammerhead shark in pursuit of two small fish. Sounds, lights and a pop geek universe are intermingled in this production, which gets its inspiration from the 1980’s.
Venue: Place Sainte-Catherine
Studio Chevalvert (FR) – Rhythm
In Rhythm, the finger, and by extension the body, becomes a way of connecting to our biorhythm and to an interactive circular sculpture at the same time. Rhythm is an installation that displays the heartbeats of two people standing face to face, who are connected to a circular network of totems with interactive lighting. These layers of light “come to life” at the heart rate of the users. A compilation of interactive scenes unfolds and these then evolve as the users’ heartbeats synchronise, or do not.
Venue: Tour Noire
Ad Lib (FR) – Enluminures célestes
The theme of the scripted content is the change from black and white to colour and from the traditional to the modern. Over the years the world moves on and the universe changes… Unmoved by the passage of time, only the church in the Béguinage stands there like an unmoving witness observing the evolution of the city. This video mapping plays with the architectural features of the building and makes the whole even more immersive.
Venue: Place du Béguinage
Spectaculaires (FR) – Snow Glow
An artistic creation on the theme of “the faces of snowmen”, from which, at night-time, a host of reflections spring and plunge the visitors into a surreal atmosphere. These thousands of coloured points then dress‐up all of the façades.
Venue: Rue du Grand Hospice
Mandylight (AUS) – Cathedral of Light
This Cathedral of Light takes its inspiration from the traditional arched windows found in historic churches to create a long tunnel illuminated by tens of thousands of luminous LED globes. Just like a church, the installation transports the audience out of the darkness and guides it towards the metaphorical light. Once inside the “cathedral”, it becomes evident that the light does not just emanate from a single source but from thousands of small globes which together produce the brilliant light.
The artist uses the analogy that, just like a community or a powerful congregation, the sculpture is made up of numerous small pieces, which work together to create a stronger and more unified sculpture.
Venues: The areas of Quai à la Chaux, Quai à la Houille, Quai au Bois de Construction and Quai aux Barques
JJMA (BE) – Chromacity
The Chromacity installation offers spectators a total, immersive experience. Visitors to this installation are invited to take a stroll through this lighted piece and enter a universe of laser beams in a misty atmosphere. More than a light show, this artistic creation is interactive and linked to the movements of the visitors. Using the Chromacity installation, the artist enables you to discover the heart of Brussels in a new way and from a new perspective. Satisfy your curiosity and allow yourself to be carried away!
Venues: Rue du Pays de Liège and Rue du Nom de Jésus
Alongside this installation, JJMA will be illuminating the Saint Catherine’s Church and the Quai du Commerce/Handelskaai
Romain Tardy (FR) – Future Ruins
Future Ruins – Act II is a sound and light installation. The 15 LED modules that make up the device are designed as parts of an architectural feature that should have been dismantled but are still treated as technological objects, offering a temporal distance between two worlds, in which traces of the first are still visible, and asking about the hypothetical end of the other. These ephemeral modules therefore have a double life: as imaginary ruins from a place that is still in operation, they come to life in the darkness in an illuminated, poetic dialogue with the location in which they are installed.
Venue: KANAL – Centre Pompidou