16: Vincent Meessen, Kain The Poet

6 April, 2019 - 20:00


In the presence of Vincent Meessen and followed by a performance of Kain The Poet  



20:00 - screening Ultramarine
21:00 - intermission
21:30 - performance Kain the Poet


Vincent Meessen

Blue is the chromatic, historical and discursive filter through which a performance by African-American poet Kain unfolds. The famed precursor of hip-hop in the late ’60s delivers his “spoken word” as the Belgian percussionist Lander Gyselinck improvises to the flow of his utterances. Throughout the performance various museum objects — funeral figurines, automaton, astrolabe, mappa mundi, textiles — are juxtaposed to Kain’s own props. They invoke affective retrospections on exile and belonging, slave routes and colonial trade.

Kain The Poet

Gylan Kain

Ye that hath seen me, hath seen Baby Kain and no one cometh to my father except by me. My name is Kain The Poet and I just got here!

The American poet, actor and playwright Kain emerged on the New York scene in the late sixties. He is widely cited as a primary influence on the development of modern spoken word culture, which later spawned hip-hop. He was a member of the Original Last Poets and produced the seminal album Blue Guerrilla (1970), which set the benchmark for things to come. At the beginning of the 1980s, Kain left the United States for Europe, where he collaborated with percussionist Z’ev and with Electric Barbarian (alongside Grazzhoppa and Bart Maris), among others. While long remaining in the shadows, Kain’s performances and phrasing, as well as the radicality of his words have influenced numerous artists, notably MF Doom, Dr. Dre and The Prodigy, who sampled his voice in their hit ‘Voodoo People’. Today, Kain works in a variety of musical formations, which serve as vehicles for his irreducible singularity.

Following the screening of Ultramarine, Kain The Poet is performing with Jeff Hollie on saxophone and Percy Jones on drums.