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Pablo Discobar, Bordeaux Bruxelles road trip

texts 2017

Pablo Discobar

Gracias a la vida

Tournfluß VII Gracias a la Vida A look back at the 2017 exhibition in Brussels with La Louve Heureuse, Christophe Massé and Jonathan Vandenheuvel

It started like a Hunter S. Thompson short story.

In the early morning of a Sunday we had loaded the trunk of the three-door with the right front leg of General San Martín's horse, the ballerina shoes of Degas' dancers by Christophe Massé, boxes of Cuban cigarillos, crossed looks between Brussels and Bordeaux lying on of the Fuji 120, oil paintings on paper in the purest Flemish tradition of frituur. A great stride of almost 1000 km awaited us. We had planned with Fedora and Jonathan to stop somewhere near Chambord to join Romain, known as “Dédé la Semoule”, for lunch and discuss with him his heraldic tales of love quests on Saturday evenings at the local Macumba.

Jonathan swallowed the miles like convoluted triple gueuze, straight but slowly. This slowness of one who surely arrives. On the highway areas we stopped to smoke cigarettes and stretch our legs. I repeatedly asked if he wanted me to drive. He said “it's ok, it's ok…” To furnish there was France Musique, France Culture and FIP. The urge to change stations came to almost all of us at the same time. A program on Rodin and his door to hell, a concert by Shostakovich, road points on FIP. The results of the first round of the presidential election one hour before France.
We felt free, he broke his ties with Bordeaux, me with a sudden desire to go and taste an American gun in Switzerland and revisit the mythical Pablo Disco Bar where I had laughed so much in the past. Jonathan wanted to take me to Ixelles and Saint-Gilles for some cuvées worthy of the best Trappists.

In time I remembered a sales kick-off in Grimbergen. The memory was not very clear. I had also been to visit Gallery 51 in Antwerp with baryta silver prints toned with gold and selenium. The guy said to me: is that all you're bringing me? There was the work of a period of 5 years in 10 prints. It obviously wasn't enough, it's never enough… During this stay, my son almost had angioedema after a massive ingestion of peanuts. I had mopped up my terror of losing him by drinking 2 pints bottoms up in the sordid hotel bar. His mother and him having opted for a restorative sleep close to a coma. My discovery also of the botanical garden not far from the emergency room of the hospital made me want to go back there.

We rang 15 minutes before Romain emerged from his Saturday night binge and opened his door to us. We didn't stay very long, we left with a long way to go.

In Brussels we arrived very late at night, we were starving, we stopped at a Chinese to buy spring rolls and Tsingtao. We then went to bed exhausted.

The Tournfluß VII was announced not without some apprehension. I was supposed to meet Felisa Cereceda, Violeta Parra's granddaughter, who was going to sing with the beautiful Ylva Berg because the Tournfluß was taking place at her house on rue de Bosnia in Saint-Gilles. There was the increased complexity of coming to interfere in a place of life. Dispersing strangeness like the Andean Indian ink poncho, Christophe's pink ballet flats, the legs of horses and the rocks of the cordillera shining under the reflections of the southern moon. She and I were two exiles thousands of miles from home. We didn't speak in Castilian, but in French. I dared not for fear of scratching the language that I practice so little. She called me Pato (duck). Very quickly, we were friends and moved to find ourselves there.

Slow ascent of the rue de Bosnia, clash to be done, we had to work a little. The exhibition lasted for a whole weekend, concert of La Louve Heureuse. Gracias a la Vida…que me ha dado tanto. Felisa tells me that this song represents all the distress of her grandmother who will commit suicide shortly after writing it. Gracias a la Vida is also the title I had chosen for the exhibition. We listen in silence to the rhythm of our hearts. I wanted Christophe to be able to hear it too Under the Tent in Bordeaux. The exhibition of our works has suddenly taken a back seat. I didn't really care about my little crafts. We were so good in that moment that the rest didn't matter. I have unforgettable memories of those moments.

Thanks to you, Jonathan Vandenheuvel, Fedora, Felisa Cereceda, Ylva Berg and Christophe Massé.

Some pictures of the exhibition