François presents objects and their implicit origins: a constructed corner, copied and reimagined from a courtyard in India; a soccer ball assembled from a leather jacket; worn sandals cast in bronze. Interspersed, Janssens places smooth, translucent glass rolls and brilliant white glitter scattered across the floor, iridescently. Their assemblage creates a tableau that is both aerial and terrestrial.
The sound of the araponga, or three-wattled bellbird, is curious and metallic. Its cry recalls a shared memory for Janssens and François, during a visit to Sao Paolo for the biennial in 1994. Five years later, they would represent Belgium in the Venice Biennale in 1999, and would show together again in a two-person exhibition at Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in 2015.
The Song of the Araponga could be interpreted as the narration of a creative principle, from a mimesis to an artefact. At first an oddity, a common source of wonderment, let us look at the title as an invitation: a jumping-off point, with the intention of returning to it. At first one notices the unreasonable persistence of a replica, which dates back to Aristotle and his mimesis; reassuring but somewhat old-fashioned. Yet this scene is critical; it is where the narrative resides, giving the impression that it is from here that the artefact will emerge. We still use this mimesis but kept only its perspective—it has become a symbolic form. The artefacts created for The Song of the Araponga create impressions of distinct scenarios, developed to set the stage for the paradox between the old-fashioned and the magical nature of things, the invention of a split, one makes it a stylistic device, an oxymoronic, hallucinatory position to converse with the araponga. - Jean-Paul Jacquet