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Chamariz (Meltse Van Coillie x Dirk Brossé, 2023)

NotesPart of Special Issue1: 25X250

Mist hangs over green fields, a camera pans over low and quiet trees. Their large crowns offer shade, as a tall blanket for a nap. There are no flutes, no nymphs, no goats. No abundance of food, no golden spoons to eat it with. A pack of cigarettes, perhaps somewhere hidden a little flask bearing some strong liquid. Men who found each other in a gentleness, well hidden behind their army green costumery. They brought little birds, all dressed up as well. With socks and helmets, they distinguish themselves from other animals, passing, grazing. Somewhere beyond them church bells resound. Meltse Van Coillie’s sparse, Arcadian landscape, together with Dirk Brossé’s rich and vivid soundtrack, is one big decoy, one big chamariz.

Van Coillie peers into a world of men and pigeons who are behaving strangely, who are sleepy, who enjoy the quietude of the country, who are waiting for something. What are they waiting for? And who is looking at who? Who is threatening who? The grass is immensely inviting, the music offers hope for a great, encapsulating story but everyone stays grounded: the men, the doves, the cows, the sun. They all sink into their siesta, the men dreaming of more birds. When the setting sun suggests the crowd to go, they pack up their stuff in silence and drive off with nothing but contentment, slumped in the leather seats of their carriage.