Saturday, May 24, 2014

Conceptional artist Roland Van den Berghe

 I was surprised when I was contacted by Roland Van den Berghe, friend of Annie Reniers. She had shown him one of my poetry books Traces/Sporen. He found there a poem that intrigued him since it had a clear volta. Having listened to the man and his wild ideas I realize his deep seated pacifism, his true interest in Vietnam and condemning the ugliness which went on there.

The first song I knew
    my daddy is over the ocean
and of course
I thought every American
was my father
I was to blame for the Vietnam war
where I didn’t belong
Now I hear your voice
      You charmer sweet talker

Too much dying had gone on
to settle down
        when the screams and fire
still pierced your dreams
when you freed my mother from her enemy
and waged a sweet war with her

      - so much later now -
your acceptance
has liberated me
belonging where I do belong

Roland is a conceptual artist and when he showed and explained some projects he had done to me I developed a new understanding of conceptual art. I realize the amount of thought and thorough preparation it involves. He was intrigued by the moment the poem changes. I also realize that the pacifist message from the poem would resonate in him since he has done many pacifist actions through his work. Roland, to say the least is well read and has traveled a lot and was interested in Vietnam where he left crutches behind in several locations, taking a picture of it every time.

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