Jan Fabre. Art Kept Me out of Jail!

The exhibition of Jan Fabre’s works Art Kept Me out of Jail! is the first presentation of the art of the outstanding Belgian multimedia artist, dramatist, internationally famous and recognised stage designer. His works have been shown, among others, at the Venice Biennale and at Documenta in Kassel. He has also participated in many theatre and dance festivals all over the world. He is known to wider audiences for his theatrical activities. The exhibition at Muzeum Sztuki allows for a closer look at the extraordinary artist at his works.

The title of the exhibition has been inspired by a controversial solo show of 2008 Jan Fabre. L’ange de la metamorphose (Musée du Louvre), where Fabre staged a four-hour long performance Art kept me out of jail!. The action was inspired by the character of a French criminal, Jacques Mesrine, who was notorious for his many escapes from French prisons.

Jan Fabre, living and working in Antwerp, will present, among others, videos documenting his most important performances: Art kept me out of jail! (2008), Virgin/Warrior (2004), Sanguis/Mantis (2001) during the exhibition at Muzeum Sztuki.

The exhibition is also a unique opportunity to see a joint work by Fabre and Marina Abramović Virgin/Warrior, performed at Palais de Tokio in Paris. Dressed in armours of common wasp (Abramović) and Rhinoceros beetle (Fabre), enclosed in a glass cage for 4 hours, the artists performed tasks they imposed on themselves (e.g. shaking weapons, breathing, cutting a left arm, holding hearts in their hands).

Fabre’s performances enable art to arise out of the action and the need ‘to experience certain things in the flesh. Fabre is an empirical artist who explores the limits of the body, consciousness and imagination. Looking for a place where experiences from a variety of disciplines can be brought together, in his performances he builds bridges between visual and theatrical work.

curator: Bart De Baere (M HKA in Antwerp)
cooperation: Jarosław Lubiak

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