The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week

The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week

Well, there goes another eventful week.

Mona Lisa is moving, AI beauty pageants are a thing, and there's also a new Eminem album on the horizon. Yet none of these announcements could detract from what the internet really cares about right now: Challengers.

Yes, Luca Guadagnino's new film, a titillating tennis-themed loved triangle starring Zendaya, is out at cinemas and serving memes (and thirst posts) left, right and centre (more on this below.)

Away from all that racket, here's what else is happening around Europe to love.


Venice biennale 2024

The Central Pavilion redecorated by the MAHKU (Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin).
The Central Pavilion redecorated by the MAHKU (Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin). - Rebecca Ann Hughes

The 60th edition of the Venice Biennale continues, with our writer Rebecca Ann Hughes calling it a "bright, bold and boundary-breaking spectacle".

Titled "Foreigners Everywhere", this year's exhibits are focused around topics of nationalism, marginalisation, colonialism and displacement; everything organised into national pavilions.

From the white Central Pavilion's transformation into an eye-popping cacophony of candy colour, to the dense white chalk diagram of the Australia Pavilion, which pays homage to First Nation Australian lineage, we've put together a list of the Biennale's highlights and must-see exhibits here.

“Nebula,” Venice, Italy

Another event not to be missed in Venice (and commissioned by the organisation Fondazione In Between Art Film to coincide with the Biennale) is this striking exploration of cinema, art and states of perception - all hosted in a former hospital. As the name 'Nebula' suggests, it's a cloudy concept inspired by the idea of spacial and sensorial disruptions. Eight video installations are embedded within the rich architecture of the Complesso dell’Ospedaletto, adding tangible new layers to historical spaces, like a frescoed concert room and old pharmacy.

'Nosso Barco Tambor Terra (Our Boat Drum Earth): Ernesto Neto', Lisbon, Portugal

Montagem Ernesto Neto
Montagem Ernesto Neto - Joana Linda

Months of intensive work went into Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto's latest piece - one of his largest sculpture ever. Inspired by the caravels that set sail for the Americas, it uses nautical materials such as canvas and ropes to symbolise transatlantic voyages. The majority is made from brightly coloured chintz, which was cut into strips and crocheted by various assistants; a free flow of colour and texture that connects with and adapts to the space within the MAAT (Museum of Art and Technology). A truly stunning thing to behold.

'The last Caravaggio', London, UK

"Martyrdom of Saint Ursula" by Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
"Martyrdom of Saint Ursula" by Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. - Kin Cheung/2024 AP

A champion of chiaroscuro, the shadowy contrasts within Italian artist Caravaggio's works reflect the turbulent emotions of a violent man that was accused of murder and quickly fled Milan. Caravaggio's very last painting, titled 'Martyrdom of Saint Ursula' is now on display, for the first time in 20 years, at London's National Portrait Gallery, where it will stay until 21 July 2024. Admission is free.

On that topic: Caravaggio also features heavily in Netflix's new Patricia Highsmith adaptation 'Ripley'; many parallels to be drawn between the artist and fictional character's worldviews. Read more about that here.

Art Brussels, Belgium

Art Brussels 2024 marks the 40th edition of the annual event
Art Brussels 2024 marks the 40th edition of the annual event - Art Brussels

With nearly 200 galleries from 30 countries there's an extremely good chance that you'll find exactly what you're looking for at Art Brussels fair.

Since its inception in 1968, Art Brussels has been at the forefront of the contemporary art scene, giving pride of place to established and emerging talents, while hosting dynamic exchanges between artists, collectors, gallerists, and art enthusiasts.

Get there early however as the roadshow only continues until the 28 April 2024.

Festivals and events

Brick Lane Jazz Festival, London, UK

For two days, Brick Lane's Truman Brewery plays host to London's most eclectic and vibrant jazz acts. On until 28 April, this annual festival features a total of ten music venues to explore, the opportunity to discover plenty of emerging talent - and all that jazz. It's also the perfect way to prepare of International Jazz Day on the 30 April!

'Breakin’ Convention', London, UK

I said a hip-hop, the hippie to the hippie! It's not on until next weekend, but tickets are available now: 'Breakin’ Convention' is the world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre, taking place at Saddler's Wells. There will be performances from the likes of TRAPLORD UK, Femme Fatale International, Jinjo Crew South Korea, Cie Kilaï France and more, along with dance workshops, DJ sets and more. Check it out here.



A titan of tactility, Italian director Luca Guadagnino's latest film tackles desire through the lens of tennis this time, a sport notorious for its psychological complexities. Our players are best friends Patrick (Josh O’Connor) and Art (Mike Faist), and rising star Tashi (Zendaya), who become entwined in a love triangle as adolescents. It's an encounter that ripples affect throughout the rest of their lives. "A heady and sensual rush unlike any other you’ve experienced in a cinema this year," our critic David Mouriquand writes - read his review in full here

TV Series

Dead Boy Detectives (Netflix)

A new supernatural thriller based on the comics of Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner, 'Dead Boy Detectives' follows the adventures of two dead boys that are killing time in a kind of purgatory by solving paranormal mysteries. A fun, gothic getaway filled with supernatural shenanigans; the kind of content that's perfect for unbuttoning your brain after a stressful week.


St. Vincent: 'All Born Screaming'

Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, delivers her seventh studio album - and it's her most intimate yet. Any former stage personas slip to reveal darker, more personal themes that pulse with rage and romance. Among the album's sonic influences are the 90s grunge music of Clark's youth, with Dave Grohl drumming on 'Broken Man' and 'Flea', two tracks that tickle your eardrums with antsy energy. The melodies feel addictive yet malleable to Clark's jagged-style riffs and vocal distortions, proving once again her strength as a songwriter. Recommended listening for angry washing up.

Justice: 'Hyperdrama’

French Touch is back, baby! Heralded by the release of French electro duo Justice's first album in over seven years. "It’s a welcome return to form, with some live-tailored hooks that show the band have still got it," our critic David Mouriquand writes, also helpfully listing some of the best examples of French Touch for those hooked.