mixed media on canvas, 95 x 108 cm
Bouche Cousue @ the loft of Jo en Bea Crepain, Antwerp (B)
© Wim Robberechts
A series of paintings about silence, whether or not imposed.
The harrowing image of a mouth stitched shut: the despair of the hunger striker. Freedom of speech suppressed by dictatorship: the ‘silenced’ political prisoner.
‘Bouche cousue’ as statement, indictment, visual pamphlet.
But silence can also be pregnant, eloquent. Just think of Cicero's paradox about senators who express their opinion forcefully by keeping their mouths shut: ‘Cum tacent, clamant!’ – when they are silent, they cry out. Their silence speaks louder than words.
Silence as an exclamation mark.
Finally, ‘Bouche cousue’ as a form of speechlessness.
Alongside aphasia – the physical inability to speak anymore, due to injury or disease – there is also ‘perplexed’ speechlessness. When emotions are intense, our spoken language occasionally fails us. Anger, joy, passion, poignancy… we are at a loss for words, because our alphabet is insufficient:
we are bouche cousue.
© Guido De bruyn (translation: Stephen Smith)
Bouche Cousue : Bologna
ink on paper 26 x 28 cm
music : George De Decker
Harpsichord, string quartet, voice & vocals (1993)
Harpsichord: Elisabeth Chojnacka
Ensor String Quartet
Vocal: Sylvia Broeckaert
Vocal: Johan Van Keirsbilck
Voice: Lawrence Weiner
Scenario & text: Stefaan Decostere
Recorded in studios 4 & 6 of BRTN, Flageyplein, Brussels (B)
Production: Boudewijn Buckinx for Radio 3