South Tanks, Tate Modern, London, March 3, 2017, with Wolfgang Tillmans (voc.) and Kyle Combs, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Tim Knapp, Jay Pluck, and Tom Roach, 4:45 min.
Tate © Tate Digital 2018
On March 3, 2017, Tillmans performs with his band Fragile in celebration of his retrospective at the London Tate Modern. As prelude to a week of concerts organized by the artist, Fragile gives, as part of their contribution, two samples of their versatile repertoire.
To begin with, a cover of the leftist Sacropop classic Anderes Osterlied (A Different Eater Song), recorded in 1970 by the Peter Janssens Ensemble. To a lean, catchy guitar riff, Tillmans pronounces semi-inflammatory, inflected verse, in which liberation theology and calls for revolution are closely related: »That would sit well with masters of the world / if justice were to come only in the afterlife …« This contrasts with the drone-like song Naïve Me. Written in 2016, it focuses on Brexit, which almost nobody thought was possible. Tillmans’s inflected speech turns in on itself and begins, if only briefly, to turn in a circle: »naïve me – me naïve.« Meanwhile, the five-person band spouts ominous plumes of sound, till the struggle against helplessness flows into the conclusive ending: »How did we get into this shit?«