zaterdag 19 juni 2021

Rhomboid Reflex


Rombouts Wederzijds / mutually reciprocal

Finally coming across a work which speaks to me – after a long stretch of disappointments and the notion that somewhere there is no progress to be had, and old mistakes are constantly being refurbished to look like new ones... well perhaps it does sort of fit this bill, but in a sympathetic manner:

A mutually reciprocal reading of Multatuli in an anatomical circus – not quite has haphazardous as the encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine, but as 'azartous' as one might conceive: reading the word-pairs connected by 'and' in simultaneously opposite fashion, across from each other as in a chess tournament, crucible theatre of operations – in this case called 'cirque anatomique' from the time the Ghent bourgeoisie spoke French... but very fitting. The readers being a young actress Coltette Goossens born in Belgium on the frontier of the twentieth century to the twenty first, and her opposite reader Bob Latuheru, born on Ambon when it was still a Dutch colony, just before the difficult attempts to create a free South Molukken Republic... and ending up a refugee... In this choice the entire history of the Dutch colonial era, the east India Company, the spice trade, the colonial wars and horrible attitudes prevalent in Europe concerning the well being of the indigenous peoples of the far flung lands they occupied – succinctly illustrated by Multatuli's (semi Latin pseudonym of the writer Eduard Dowes Dekker) “Max Havelaar” still one of the most read and translated book in Dutch letters....



So in this quiet and concentrated performance, lasting a few hours, with visitors coming and going – albeit quietly – there is also a high concentration of political and cultural import not apparent on the surface – iceberg style considerations needed to fathom the length and breadth of this quiet gesture... For the audience the word-sets read could be followed by a projection on the wall behind of the programme devised by Theun de Lange, longtime collaborator of Guy Rombouts and a whiz at finding technical and presentational solutions for the AZART alphabet (just have a look at the azart website) – making this in effect a quintessentially fifty-fifty work in which not only the basic premise, 'wederzijds' mutually reciprocal reading performance, but collaboration and sharing, set between theater-performance and exhibition-publication by the art-book producers 'balanseer' teetering as it were between here and there, now and then, intriguing and amazing...






For the exhibition space Guy Rombouts chose some déjà-vu classics always glad to run into: 'belemmering' as wel as unseen trouvailles and curiosities, mind twister-rebusses and rhomboid reflections... a refreshing dip into the mental synaptics of a wayward typesetter!

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