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« And who ever saw mating frogs or an elephant pass away? Certain climatic circumstances, certain moral, political, historical circumstances, may well result in red or black locust beasts like the ones from whom our fathers experienced caresses. »
Jacques AUDIBERTI, L’Ampélour, 1937
Lætitia Paviani: So how’s your health?
Hendrik Hegray: my father asks me this question sometimes on the phone. in general, i lie. we’ll say that i play it by ear.
Nelson: Mom, Hendrik didn’t take off his shoes!!!
Lætitia Paviani: And what is this compulsion for not capitalizing? Can you explain?
Hendrik Hegray: a/ i told myself (naively) that you would correct it. b/ i don’t ever do it actually, only with proper names because i’m not a slob. it saves me a crazy lot of time.
Lætitia Paviani: Oh goodness, Hendrik! Go on then, talk about your body.
Hendrik Hegray: Alas, um, if you insist, 1.75m, blue eyes, dark brown hair, more and more white hairs on my temples (stress is speeding it up i think), some scars on my face (a rooster, a bike, an altercation at the Point Éphémère), disparate tufts of hair and some inelegant ones on the upper back, some more gravitating to my shoulders, a bunch of zits to embellish the whole, an implant on my torso that i’m actually proud of, a broken bone on my right hand that was badly healed, negligent myopia, bad breath on occasion.
Lætitia Paviani: Very good, very good, ok, this health, ours (Treize), yours. We’re an organism, you are a living being – an artist, who is even more so – and we all drink a fair amount. Some have stopped smoking. However, beyond the question of the physical, on that which concerns the artistic, the intellectual, can we say that we function harmoniously, regularly, independently of anomalies or of weaknesses that might affect us…? Can we speak of good artistic, intellectual, editorial, etc. health?
Hendrik Hegray: That reminds me that I played an excellent concert two or three winters ago, I was pretty sick that night, I drank quite a bit of whiskey to reinvigorate myself. I got up on the stage, pretty drunk, and something kind of powerful happened, I played as if in a state of grace. The night ended pretty badly; I lost half of my material getting out of the taxi that I took to get back to the place of the person who was putting me up for the night. A friend warmly congratulated me on the performance. I heard myself talking about the energy of despair. I was pretty depressed at the time, I think. The functioning of such a fragile enterprise as Treize, or for me, Nazi Knife, False Flag, or small independent labels, at differing levels, is always interesting because there’s always a little bit of the idea of resisting an economic system, a formatting of practices, a comfort of thought. It doesn’t guarantee excellent content or integrity but it helps in staying alert and so yes, it’s healthy.
Lætitia Paviani: Pascaline said something similar to me the other day in regards to Treize, close to the biological, but not really, more like the climatic. She talked about irregular and sporadic movements, sensitive all the same, of an evolution attentive to exterior contingency. What was funny, now that I think about it, is that we talked about that outside Treize where there was still Fanny’s exhibition on the meteorological watercolors of André Des Gachons, a painter from the beginning of the century who worked for the meteorological central office. It’s the kind of thing we can also see at Treize, we don’t just do contemporary art, noise concerts or magazine launches. What Pascaline evoked was that we are operating on a local or national scene without expressing the desire to be closed off too tightly. We play it by ear as well in a certain sense. I wonder if this same expression wasn’t used, “play it by ear,” a real positioning, according to her, for an independent space like Treize, in the idea of giving ourselves freedom to construct a program that integrates phenomenon of perturbation, or in any case, that would refuse to construct in itself a continuity, to respond to concerns of efficacy or communication, a bit like your health, your concerts…