Day 22: Faustin Linyekula


‘Coupez le son!’  Turn the sound down! One of the actors was shouting it, I was thinking it. At first ‘More, more, more… future’ rather annoyed me, but in the end Faustin Linyekula succeeded in winning me over.  I love it, when that happens.

‘More, more, more… future’ is a performance disguised as a rock concert. Congolese director Faustin Linyekula puts a rock trio on stage, next to three dancers and two singers. The taller one of those two looks like Maxi Jazz from Faithless in a golden suit. The guitar player (Flamme Kapaya, considered to be one of Congo’s best) could have been one of the members of George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic, in his red cape.

Linyekula’s performance takes the popular ndombolo music of Congo as a starting point, but quickly injects those happy sounds with a dose of rage and heavy rock. Jimi Hendrix au Congo. ‘We bring uproar at parties!’ ‘We are dancing but it’s nothing but a procession towards the burial chambers.’ ‘Open your eyes!’

All of that  irritated me, in the beginning. The dancers (Linyekula being one of them) looked like they were not always sure what to do next. Too many clichés in those lyrics. But gradually all the elements started blending. There was a tinge of poetry. It reminded me of a concert of the great French rapper/poet Abd Al Malik, I once saw.

What I particularly liked, was that ‘More, more, more… future’ did not end with a bang. It would have been easy to raise the volume and go for a climax. But instead Linyekula slowly took the volume and the pace of this performance down. ‘Will there ever be a future? Or will the hourglass be inverted again and again?’  So, yes, there I was: cynical in the beginning but under the impression at the end.

(photo credit: Academie Anderlecht – Elke Verheyen)


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