A biennial event for contemporary art in Borgerhout, Antwerp. Its second edition will run from 3 till 11 September 2016. Opening: Friday, 2 September 2016, 18h00. Afterparty from 22h00 at Club Bravo Moorkensplein 33, Antwerp.

2 – 11 SEPT 2016


Envision a place in which contemporary art is truly everywhere - no escape. Just dream of bohemia lurking around every corner, of all cafés serving your favourite latte, of daily life as one single breath-taking performance. Imagine your city permanently undergoing cosmetic and plastic surgery, with all of its imperfections removed.

Instead of slowing down the process of urban development, we call for acceleration. Why limit down when we can have everything? Why settle for less? And even if our demand is too absolute, let it at least ignite the imagination of artists, performers, designers, architects, writers and thinkers!

Let’s gentrify everything!

Gentrification is a delicate issue, especially in artistic circles. Well aware of the risk of hypocrisy, contributing to what it purports to criticize, BORG 2016 chose to embrace rather than to resist, putting forward the provocative slogan GENTRIFY EVERYTHING.

Throughout the past few decades, gentrification has grown into a buzzword, a symptom of our times, hailed by project developers and disparaged by activists. This socioeconomic process of urban renewal increases the value of properties while displacing the lower-income residents. It puts the middle class in place of the working class, the yuppie and hipster in place of the long-time local and the trendy coffee bar in place of the newspaper shop. Artists and designers (or “young urban creatives”) often occupy an ambiguous role in this development. Attracted by cheap housing and studios, the arrival of these creatives transforms the local district into a hip and appealing place to live, which will in turn attract the more wealthy, raise the rents and might ultimately drive the economically less fortunate out of their homes.

This being said, exactly how does contemporary art come into play here? Is it that innocent? Or is the art scene a kind of lubricant for gentrification, the avant-garde of urban development? Are there still possibilities to resist, and what would these consist of? What does it mean to work on a local level in a globalised art world? Are artists to be perceived as the victims or as the instigators of the all-absorbing, neoliberal logic at work in today’s cities? Does contemporary art “enrich” a certain neighbourhood, and how so? Or, to put it more strongly, has contemporary art become an exclusive product for the middle and upper class?

For its second edition, BORG has decided to radically question its identity as a biennial event for contemporary art in Borgerhout, a local district of Antwerp that harbours a burgeoning amount of art galleries and project spaces, but also has to deal with different socioeconomic strata and minorities. Is it possible to embed a art biennial in such a local context without any contradiction? Can BORG be critical of gentrification processes and still avoid hypocrisy?


Call for proposals

*The call for proposals is closed by now.

A professional jury (independent curator Nadia Bijl, visual artist and architect Adrien Tirtiaux, artistic director of artist organisation NICC Lode Geens and the BORG team) made a selection from the submitted proposals, judging on the basis of overall quality, relevance within the theme and its relation to the urban environment.

During its first weekend, BORG is also joining forces with Studio Start and NICC, who are organising Open Studios on Sunday, September 4th. Local artists are invited to open the doors of their studio to the public.

Selected artists for BORG 2016:

André Catalão, Saddie Choua, Scot Cotterell, Katinka de Jonge, Eleanor Duffin, Vesna Faassen & Lukas Verdijk, From Me To You, Kristinn Guðmundsson & Peter Sattler, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Wouter Huis, Seungjo Jeong, Céline Mathieu & Christophe Clarijs, Alireza Mosaffa, Karen Moser, Vijai Patchineelam, Ramon Pino Hernandez, Kiah Reading, Annesofie Sandal, Sorry Sorry, Philippe Van Damme, Tim Van Ham, Guus van der Velden, Saskia Van der Gucht, Ersi Varveri and Ina Wudtke.


These are the exhibition venues of BORG 2016, all situated in Borgerhout, Antwerp:

  • Arop (Engelselei 47) (artists: Scot Cotterell, Katinka de Jonge, Eleanor Duffin, Vesna Faassen & Lukas Verdijk, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Wouter Huis, Seungjo Jeong, Céline Mathieu & Christophe Clarijs, Karen Moser, Vijai Patchineelam, Philippe Van Damme, Guus Van der Velden, Saskia Van der Gucht, Kiah Reading)
  • Carwash Theater (Sergeyselsstraat 42) (artists: André Catalão, Peter Sattler & Kristinn Gudmundsson, Annesofie Sandal)
  • ‘t Werkhuys (Zegelstraat 13) (artists: Ina Wudtke, Ersi Varveri, Ramon Pino Hernandez) + programma van lezingen en performances (9 - 11 september)
  • De Belly (Borsbeekstraat 130) (artists: Sorry Sorry)
  • ShowRoom / Sint Lucas Antwerpen (Kerkstraat 45) (artist: Saddie Choua)
  • From Me To You (Oudstrijderstraat 57) (artist: Maud Vande Veire)


Opening hours:

Opening on Sept 2nd, 18h00

3 Sept, 12h00 - 18h00

4 Sept, 12h00 - 19h00

8 - 11 Sept, 12h00 - 18h00

Special coffee bar by metabaristas Peter Sattler & Kristinn Gudmundsson at CarWash theater (only during opening hours)


Program of activities:

(following extra activities will take place during BORG, alongside the exhibition.)


  • All venues are opening at 6pm
  • 6pm-10pm The sum of your unnecessary steps by Karen Moser
  • Afterparty at Club Bravo by KNBL at 10pm with Dj Sexy, DTM Funk, Chubbee Bee and Carwash On Ace


  • Open Studio’s from 14h - 19h (organised by Studio Start & NICC)
  • From Me To You (Oudstrijderstraat 57), between 12h and 19h: Versailles City (round table presentation), Amina Saâdi


Venue: Carwash Theater (Sergeyselsstraat 42)

  • 16:30 -17:15: Peter Sattler & Kristinn Gudmundsson: Cupping (tasting session) with Nicky Thoilants and a conversation about masculinity & coffee

Venue: ‘t Werkhuys (Zegelstraat 13)

  • Tour in return by Ersi Varveri (tours start at 14h30 and 15h30)
  • 18h00: Book launch Guillaume Bijl (JRP|Ringier, 2016) with a lecture by Prof. John C. Welchmann (University of California, San Diego): 'Jumps of the Cat': Guillaume Bijl’s Simulation Therapy
  • 20h00 Lecture (NL) by Saddie Choua: No, I wasn't in Cats but I did play Evita once



Venue: Carwash Theater (Sergeyselsstraat 42)

  • 13:00 - 13:45: Performance Peter Sattler & Kristinn Gudmundsson: ((A)Roma))nce / A road trip on an organic, dark brown stream of consciousness or what's the value of hanging out? 

Venue: ‘t Werkhuys (Zegelstraat 13)

  • Tour in return by Ersi Varveri (tours start at 12h00, 13h00, 15h00 and 16h00)
  • 17h00: Screening & artist talk Vesna Faassen & Lukas Verdijk: A work by and with Ali, Arne, Chanel, Lukas and Vesna (2016)
  • 20h00: Lecture by Thomas Decreus: Smile! You're being gentrified


Venue: ‘t Werkhuys (Zegelstraat 13)

  • Ongoing: The Making of the Borgerhout Sauce by Ramon Pino Hernandez (screening)
  • 14h - 17h: tasting session of the “Borgerhout sauce”, a project by Ramon Pino Hernandez
  • 15h00 - ‘t Schoonste Land ter Wereld in 16 Liederen by T. Querton / R. Braem. Music theatre – Monologue (NL) by De Urbanisten van Deurne
  • 17h00 - Lecture (NL) by Jonas De Maeyer: From Bushwick to Borgerhout: districts in transition
  • 19h00 - Panel talk on contemporary art & gentrification (participants: Stephanie Van Houtven, districtsschepen Borgerhout; Shirin Mirachor, founder Hipster Muslim Project; a.o., moderator Pieter Vermeulen)

Venue: Koxplein

  • 16h00: Establishing/Disestablishing by Alireza M (public project on Koxplein)

Venue: Carwash Theater (Sergeyselsstraat 42)

  • 18:00 - 18:45: Performance Peter Sattler & Kristinn Gudmundsson: ((A)Roma))nce / A road trip on an organic, dark brown stream of consciousness or what's the value of hanging out? 


Biennial event for contemporary art

Borg VZW
Kattenberg 12
2140, Borgerhout
Antwerpen — Belgium


Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx
visual artist and founder of artist space Hole Of The Fox

Bart Vanderbiesen
owner of Base-Alpha Gallery

Pieter Vermeulen
curator, art critic and course director of the Master in Art & Design at St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp

Bart Verschueren
assistant contemporary art at M—Museum Leuven, art handler at Aorta+

With the support of the district Borgerhout