mixed media on canvas , 60 x 50 cm
“d’ ouwe kerke”, Retranchement. (NDL)
music by George De Decker
In 1975 composer Luciano Berio wrote a work for 40 singers and 44 musicians: CORO.
The music – a mosaic of sounds and texts – is both narrative and overwhelmingly emotional. They key phrase, Berio’s point of departure, is a line borrowed from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda: ‘Venid a ver la sangre por las calles’ (Come and see the blood in the streets) – a hard-hitting reference to General Pinochet's seizure of power in Chile in 1973.
In 2016 George De Decker heard this work by chance on the radio. Moved by its music, but without knowing the context of the work, he began to paint a number of canvases in a for him unusual palette of reds. Later, when he found out the history of the work, he decided to paint a series of the same name: thirty-one canvases (60 x 50) – a reference to the thirty-one episodes that are sung out in Berio's work.
Each canvas is both individually conceived and a part of a whole.
31 voices, each with its own pictorial story,
31 solos in a chorus of paintings: Coro.
© Guido De Bruyn (translation :Stephen Smith)