(The following text was written for a public reading accompanied with an orchestrated meal served at the end. The audio is a live recording from the same day. This reading was presented during a performance program within the frame of Hotel Europa-Continent des anecdotes curated by Theó-Mario Coppola in Le26 by Galerie Felix Frachon, February 16th, 2018, Brussels, BE)
Your presence is very important today because if no nobody would’ve been here, then this reading wouldn’t make sense. Its essential for me because words and texts are set together, meant to be heard by a hungry audience and also to fill in a gap of time, lets say its an excuse while waiting for the content of this pot to be cooked.
The content of the pot is already a contention contained in a smaller container in itself, this means that there are many other things contained in it which contain other tiny things as well. The content of each container is filled will multiple and special ingredients. Some that, originally, come from very far, but fortunately, all found in Belgium. The quantity inside can be limited, if you’re willing to share, please do, don’t expect a full meal or dinner, this is more like an offering. About offerings, the people in the interior of Bali in Indonesia, place white rice in green little boat-shaped palm plates in several spots surrounding their household. They do this as a gift to the spirits. Everyday, they leave these offerings and after a while the small amount of rice disappears, well it doesn’t vanish by itself, it is slowly taken by the black ants, who’ve been living in the Indonesian Island for thousands of years.
Such an agreement, between the spiritual and the animal is only possible when these two worlds match in affinity and love. This cosmic enclosure made me think in who is conducting the ants, or who is conducting the hunger of the ants? are they the spirits or just an extension of them, like if through them they could communicate with the human and supernatural, almost as a possessed entity or a medium? And in function of what?
About possessions, there’s a fascinating and mysterious story of a medium called Helene Smith, in the book: From India to the planet Mars: a study of a case of somnambulism with glossolalia (glossolalia means to speak in tongues or when people speak other languages unknown to them). This book was written in 1900 and details the experiences of Théodore Flournoy, Swiss professor of psychology. During the five years he spent attending the séances (or divination sessions) of Helene Smith, she was a medium who received spiritual messages throughout visual and auditory means as well as thumps on the table from her spirit guide and protector named Leopold. Flournoy studied Smith and wrote of the different cycles she inhabited as she claimed to be the reincarnation of Simandini the daughter of an Arab sheik, the favorite wife of a Hindu prince, as well as a reincarnation of Marie Antoinette. She also claimed to have contact with people living on Mars and to be able to speak their language which she wrote down during her spiritual meetings, as well as sketches of the landscape she witnessed.
In February 16th, (a same day like today) in 1896 – The idea of a special handwriting belonging to the planet Mars occurs for the first time to Helene’s astonishment in a Martian semi-trance. The Martian handwriting only appeared at the end of a prolonged period of incubation, which betrayed itself in several incidents, and was certainly stimulated by various exterior suggestions during a year and a half at least. It was only at the end, that in one of the last meetings where she was in a deep trance, she began to speak out loud (in alien language), a series of words followed by, what seemed like instructions and immediately began to speak in Tulu, a language from the Kanara region in South India (Today Chennai). All indicated, she had an ultra-crossing telepathic encounter from another personage she reincarnated in further mediumistic sessions. The meaning of this is explained by Leopold (her spiritual guide), as follows: Helene is in India, in her palace of Tchandraguiri, in Kanara, in 1401, and she receives a declaration of love from the personage with the curly hair, who is the Prince Sivrouka Nayaka, to whom she has been married for about a year. The prince has flung himself upon his knees, but he inspires in her a certain fright, and she still regrets having left her native country in order to follow him. Leopold affirms that she will remember, on awaking in French, all that the prince has said to her in Sanskrit, and that she will repeat to us a part of it, but not all, because it is too private. After awaking she seems in reality to recall clearly her entire dream. She found herself in a fine palace, very beautiful as to its interior, but ugly in its exterior. There was a great hall, decorated with exotic plants, with a grand staircase at the end, flanked by statues of golden naked birds. She held a long conversation there, with the swarthy personage of the black curly hair and magnificent costume; he finally ascended the staircase, but she did not follow. Dinner was served, but suspiciously she didn’t appear that evening.
(PLEASE CHECK THE IMAGES, WHICH GATHER SOME OF THE SKETCHES)
(All images taken from the book “From India to the planet Mars: a study of a case of somnambulism with glossolalia”. Théodore Flournoy, 1900)
In a different letter, some months later, Helene writes about this conversation and she speaks about another presence, a lady called Musa Paradisiaca. She enters as a guest and brings along with her a basket. In the basket she has a number of green packages, it seemed like little presents wrapped in plant leaves, perhaps banana leaves. Inside they carried rice and black beans. For the tribe of Muhana, in the insular region of Paradise, black beans can be highly appreciated as an aphrodisiac and also as a powerful poison. They are called, Black magic, Blackhawk, Domino, Nighthawk, Dim Valentine and Zorro.
Beans are a heliotropic plant, meaning that the leaves tilt throughout the day to face the sun. At night, they go into a folded “sleep” position.
About the sun, the night and the moon, yesterday, Thursday 15th at 10 pm, we had new moon, which in astronomy means that the moon is in its first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the unaided eye, except when silhouetted during a solar eclipse. Daylight outshines the earthlight that dimly illuminates the dark side of the new Moon. The actual phase is usually a very thin crescent because the Moon rarely passes directly in front of the Sun, except in a solar eclipse… On the other hand, in Astrology, a new moon means that something ends in order for something new to start. Anyhow, some kinds of raw beans contain a harmful tasteless toxin, that must be removed by cooking. Red and kidney beans are particularly toxic, but other types also pose risks of food poisoning. A recommended method is to boil the beans for at least ten minutes; undercooked beans may be more toxic than raw beans. So, Lady Musa did used uncooked beans and also an extremely rare kind, she offered them to the Hindu prince and princess, and they devoured everything with exasperation. After some hours, they fell into a lovely spring, a chromatic trance, a shade of shades, and it went as follows:
Shades of White
A Cosmic Latte with Papaya Whip looks like Honeydrew with hangover. Smells similar to Vanilla or Magnolia but at the end it’s closer to Linen Ghost White. With a crumb of Eggshell, Ivory and Snow it tastes like rotten Lemon Chiffon. But add some Cornsilk and a piece of Lavender Blush, fry it with Mint Cream and you’ll have a fabulous Navajo white.
Shades of Black
His sister reincarnated in a Black Bean, she appeared with Onyx, her Black Leather Jacket, and a bucket of fresh fish. Her voice changed and no one ever noticed that Charleston Green was a pole dancer, until Eerie Black went to Midnight Blue and got lost in Outer Space. As usual, for Phthalo Green this was normal, he grew with Café Noir and Licorice films, his dad owned the Taupe Hot Club and used to go swimming with the Black Olive twins.
Shades of Gray
Charcoal was asking for Davy’s and Payne’s Gray, because last night Timberwolf turned Silver Gray into White. After calling Gunmetal, he noticed that Rose Quartz was dating Battleship and Cadet Gray. They went to Fraser Island and now live in a Purple Taupe house in front of the sea. Meanwhile Slate Gray was hunting Grays to Cool Gray, Ash Gray passed away and all was fault of Black.
Shades of Blue
Traditionally, the International Klein Blue Association sacrifices a unicorn once a year for Powder and Federal Blue. They use UCLA, Oxford and Yale Blue to cut the Iris and Denim for True Blue. Cobalt and Eton blue are then introduced in the shape of a triangle and facing to the sun. At 2 o’clock in front of the Bleu de France Hotel, Bondi and Brandeis Blue will dance, drink and give poisoned food. The Dodger Blue poison affects directly the brain, provoking neurotic attacks and the compulsory need to go shopping. Egyptian Blue Labs are now producing Majorelle and Palatinate Blue tabs for reducing the size of your head and Maya Blue pills for the headaches.
Shades of Pink
When Carmine was working for Hot Pink in 1976, she had a Fandango car and every morning she picked up French Rose. They had Amaranth in Hollywood Cerise and Puce, and Baker-Miller Pink was spying through the peephole of the toilet. Ruby screamed, Mauve escaped and Carnation Pink preys for Deep Carmine. Mexican Pink went to jail and Fuchsia bought a Coral Pink cell phone.
Shades of Red
After the war and influenza, Alizarin Crimson lost his teeth and only one leg. Rosso Corsa made Folly and Maroon paintings. Scarlet had Tyrian Purple nightmares and problems sleeping with Lust. Once Auburn won the American Rose Cycling Tour, Terra Cotta celebrated with Rosewood in Burgundy Square. The insanity of Electric Crimson was enough to attack the Tuscan Red communist party, the troops were hiding behind the Fire Brick wall and he traded his gun for a bubble gum. Thanks to the Chestnut Brothers the chickens are still alive and Flame & Redwood Company finally broke.
Shades of Brown
Tawny Cordovan was the first Beaver sent to the moon. The Fulvous 2000 landed in Desert Sand, far from Khaki and very close to Mahogany. Russet asteroids smashed the Liver of the spaceship and no one survived. There was no Coffee, Sandy Brown ate the Beige Lion and Citrine forgot her sandals in the Sinopia. Four days later, Umber and Buff played chess in Chamoisee Park and Tan Tan gained 78 kilos after eating the whole Chocolate statue.
Shades of Orange
Peach-yellow sneakers are the worst to match with your Satin Sheen Gold t-shirt and the Gamboge tie that you inherited from your uncle Tenné– I reserve my comments on that. They might go together if you have Dark Salmon and Safety Orange at the Tea Rose Restaurant or Champagne with Pumpkin cake in Atomic Tangerine. Anyway, Portland, Princeton and Persian Orange didn’t agree when Amber’s cousin married Rust Tangelo, a stupid cowboy from Sunset East, they had twelve kids, three ducks and a Gold (metallic) trampoline.
Shades of Yellow
The Chartreuse is a wild member of Naples and Mikado Yellow. This species is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic Apricot, which is usually placed within the Mustard and Saffron. They live in Dark Goldenrod and other arid areas of Jonquil, in Arylide, Aureolin and some parts of Jasmine. It formerly had a wider range north and west into, Maize and Sunglow. Ancient scientists made a crossbreed between Amber and Ecru, having a Selective Yellow, already extinct. Actually, around 470 Vanilla creatures exist in the wild and the rest are kept as Straw.
Shades of Green
Teal is the practice of influencing other Islamic and Dartmouth Green on a civic level. Individually, Lime and Mantis reproduce and create Jungle Green, leaving their country at the age of three. Fern, Lawn and Phthalo Green prefer Mantis after taking a shower and Asparagus at noon with Mint Cream. Otherwise, the prediction of Shamrock Green was true, she said that Spring Bud and Pistachio would infect Forest Green with Olive drab, bringing the entire town to a collective depression.
Shades of Cyan
Thieves of treasures that aren’t pirates become to be Robin Egg Blue, a selfish Skobeloff, mercy less and not intelligent at all. The deal was to drug Celeste with Magic Mint and then steal the Turquoise diamond of Tiffany Blue, sell it in the Russian market and flee the country. Meanwhile, the Cerulean poker team turned on fire the Pine Green police station, it was insanity in Jungle green and nobody went to Aquamarine’s funeral.
Shades of Violet
Every six years the Wisteria Music contest announces the winner of a set of brooms, a puppy and a three-month contract with Mulberry Records. For the 47th season, Amethyst Byzantium was nominated for best folk band. Based in Plum, South Cerise, they are known for using the Thistle and a Heliotrope bass, and an old Fandango from the inquisition. In their trip back, Rose and Mauve smuggled Tyrian Purple Haze and 500 gr of Lavender, not Floral but the authentic Blush. As democracy was far from their set of minds, some of them agreed to grow an Eggplant in their ears and the rest emigrated to the south.
I think so far, more than 10 minutes had passed already and the beans are finely cooked…