Eyewitness Robin Vanbesien, about Café Marché

Robin Vanbesien attended LFEO for the brass band Café Marché. Robin is an artist and writer who heard LFEO for the first time.


The location is Spiegelzaal (a ballroom with mirrors, pillars and windows) in De Markten. The occasion is a rehearsal of a brass-band collective. We encounter about 35 musicians, each playing a different music instrument (!), collectively trying to approach the exact shape of a song. Then the rehearsal is interrupted, Sarah takes the conductor’s position and starts giving a lecture. It is said it is a ‘lecture for every one’. The musicians, the conductor, Kristien and me start listening.

There is one ‘lecture for every one’, but is continuously performed again and again, every time on a different location, interrupting a gathering of any kind. Spoken words intersect different situations of accidental and less-accidental meetings; they only take 20 minutes. It is a temporary consolidation that allows us, ad-hoc spectators, to exist in movement in a field circumscribed by connotation. The words evoke questions, announcements, statements, confessions, jokes, but never are exactly any of those things, as all orientation remains suspended in the text. Or rather, the orientation of the words is entangled in the individual interpretations and engagements of each one of us. These words apparently embody a rehearsal that asks for common appeals but doesn’t ask for collective shapes.

One of the words in the lecture that held my attention is ‘care’. A friend told me once ‘responsibility is freedom’ and I added instantly ‘because there is no magic about it.’

‘Lecture for every one’ is elusive and deceitful about the way it embodies care and empathy. It is for us to act on. Consequently I started fantasizing about how we should continuously be deceitful about the responsibilities we take. We shouldn’t tell, we can’t expose and we don’t care if our responsible attitude is not recognized as such. (At night, when we are ‘dreaming’, we get up and try to solve all problems, during the day we keep acting as if all the problems are unresolved and nothing is to be done about it. Secretly, we only live for the night!)

The language of ‘lecture for every one’ can appear deceitfully naive, while the affective relations it allows are as many as each one of us. Above all, the continuously suspended shape of the lecture invites for clones. Yesterday evening, when sitting in a bar in Paris, I noticed how a boy walked up the karaoke stage and took the microphone.


18/05/2013 Robin Vanbesien