A dinner with... Erick Beltran
What does a dinner about translation look like?
There are about 30 people seated around a U shaped table. There is an artist talking about translation. There are people who follow, there are people who try to follow, and there are people who wait until they can talk. The artist speaks in French, his French is fluent, not so much because he speaks the language very well but because he knows he makes himself clear. While the artist articulates his discourse, the guests translate his message however they can to make it comprehensible. The event has a certain intensity, at least for those who follow and who eat at the same time (there is a lot of wine circulating as well). There is something about digesting food and words, digesting a frog and a diagrammatic system of translation. The process is not even parallel but analogical and simultaneous. There is no dessert because this dinner has no end (as the artist explains).
The part of the presentation I liked best was when he put his crab juice smeared hands on his laptop bringing the medium of our togetherness into a theoretical place.
une réunion de travail,
un dîner entre amis - délicieux -
il y a eu presque un meurtre ou quelque chose comme ça, non ?
cuisses de lapin, de grenouille et de poulpe, chocolat-ail-persil
mais où est donc passée la soupe de cuisses d'anguille ?!
sympathique cafouillage synesthésique
l'artiste s'est mis en quatre: il a affronté deux jours durant les muscles morts,
il nous a servi un prêche sur la pensée des particules
j'ai oublié de demander le nombre et la liste des recalés
peut-être constitueront-ils la prochaine tablée...
Klaus Speidel's response was removed at his request by SPEECH
I don’t really speak French. I understand a few words but this usually leads me to misunderstandings. But there is also a pleasure in not really understanding what’s going on. First plate was frog legs, pan fried with garlic and parsley. The second, cold seafood salad with calamari, octopus, tomato, lemon juice, herbs and perhaps bread. Erick described the plate in terms of a discourse about civilisation, Diogenes in relation to the octopus. Next plate, something to do with geometry as a mental way to resolve things, using the triangle for instance, mussels cooked with an egg custard and spinach. This idea that everyone has a shape in their mind to help solve problems… energy, molecules, specific idiograms. Casanova, Orson Wells, seduction between one system and another, between machine and process – and the changing form, ‘le trouve’? (I was a bit lost here and I asked the person next to me to translate a little but he said he didn’t understand either.) The next plate was steamed broccoli cooked with chestnuts, onions and celery and the next a Mexican dish, le tre kiki – Holy Trinity – three persons in one is a monster, an indigenous dish of baked green peppers stuffed with meat and raisins with an almond cream sauce. Body, knots, a surface… development and negotiation of coodination of points. Ghost sensations, amputations, these feelings diminish with time but the person feels some sensation for ever – like mental illness… a trilogy. Crab with chili and cinamon and, if I understood right, a little tortilla dough for flavour. The final course was rabbit cooked in a thin chocolate sauce, the ultimate pleasures apparently – and a construction related to architectonic systems. I liked the formality of the dinner, the place names, the white tableware, wine and water glasses, everything matching. It did make me anxious that Erick stood and spoke throughout the entire dinner and didn’t sit down to eat with us.