The “ENCATC Cultural Happy Hours” is new initiative of ENCATC launched in 2013, in partnership with Cultural Contact Points Wallonie-Bruxelles and Vlaanderen, the Cultural Happy Hours aim to catalyse international partnerships, cross sectorial exchanges, collaborations and knowledge transfers among networks and organisations acting in the field of arts and culture based in Brussels, strengthen the Belgian artistic and cultural scene and its European projects by enlarging their audience, connect with a variety of stakeholders based in Brussels through culture, and create innovative partnerships among cultural, business and education sectors.
The inaugural Cultural Happy Hours took place on 21 February at the Maison Particulière – Arts Center in Brussels. On this occasion, a group of invited guests of cultural professionals, policy makers, educators, and artists were welcomed by the founders of the Maison Particulière, Myriam and Amaury de Solages, to discover its current exhibition “Sex, Money and Power”. The visit was highlighted by a selected commentary from ENCATC member, Professor and art historian, Claire Giraud-Labalte from the Université Catholique de l’Ouest (France), in reflection to her research carried out for her new book published in 2012 with her colleague Patrick Barbier in partnership with ENCATC, “Les années du romantisme - Musique et culture entre Paris et l’Anjou (1823 - 1839)”. While on the surface some may question the link between a contemporary exhibition of “Sex, Money and Power” and the Romantic era, Professor Giraud-Labalte elegantly demonstrated how the exhibition’s themes were also pertinent during the Romantic era. Using the exhibition’s artistic pieces as her inspiration, she intertwined her knowledge of art history and stories from her research to raise questions and provoked critical thinking to look beyond a contemporary art work and question mankind’s relationships with sex, money and power.