Eat the frog, swallow the ebb - Francisco Correia

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Welcome on 16.11, 6 pm, for the ope­ning of Eat the frog, swal­low the ebb’, a solo exhi­bi­ti­on by Francisco Correia (Lisbon, 1996), con­clu­ding his one-year resi­d­en­cy as the lau­re­a­te of the Cas-co Bac Award. Every year, Bac Art Lab, Cas-co and Off the Grid select one of the gra­du­a­tes of Luca School of Arts for a dou­ble pro­duc­ti­on and pre­sen­ta­ti­on tra­jec­to­ry in Leuven. The exhi­bi­ti­on fra­mes within Fringe, the off-pro­gram­me of New Horizons — Dieric Bouts Festival.

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the mor­ning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the big­gest one first.” — Mark Twain

Last sum­mer, I had been swim­ming in a stream of stran­ge onli­ne con­tent. I’d been bin­ge-wat­ching Succession and was hoo­ked on all kinds of moti­va­ti­o­nal talks about how to beco­me a suc­ces­sful entre­pre­neur. These lec­tu­res fil­led me with a mix­tu­re of loa­thing and deep devo­ti­on to che­ap, life-chan­ging advi­ce. I learnt that the dai­ly sche­du­les of famous peo­p­le all had in com­mon the few hours of sleep and eating cra­zy things at weird times of the day. I had always been pic­ky about my diet and often­ti­mes irri­ta­ted by the names of heal­thy things. Changing my diet was a no-go, but I could, in fact, do wit­hout a few hours of sleep — and also start jogging. 

So one mor­ning, I left my bed befo­re sun­ri­se and went for a run on the beach. I was cer­tain­ly doing it for fas­hi­on, but it was rewar­ding to see the sun coming up behind the ocean and my feet trea­ding on the wet, unt­ou­ched sand. I fan­ta­sis­ed about a life of ele­va­tor pit­ches, hands­ha­ke deals and spen­ding my days in an offi­ce clo­se to the sky. After run­ning, I felt in con­trol of my body. My body, my tem­ple, my life. I had­n’t fain­ted nor my legs had fal­len off. At that moment, my com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on skills were bet­ter than tho­se of any charac­ter in Succession. Although in my life I was as far away from Rupert Murdoch as I was from Logan Roy. I step­ped into the water, let­ting go of the weight of my body and allo­wing the mor­ning tide to flo­at me like a mes­sa­ge in a bott­le. I went back to my room, sen­sing that my life had just chan­ged. I ate a bana­na, ope­ned my lap­top and star­ted ans­we­ring all the emails I’d been put­ting off for a long time.

Image: José Fernando Pereira

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