Fonteintje [Fountain]

Jan Fabre


Video, 00:05:00.

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp.

Although most people are acquainted with the drawings, sculptures, performances and plays of Jan Fabre, his films are lesser known to the general public. Yet they reveal Fabre’s strange world of impulsiveness, parody and ritualization. Between 1980 and 1982 he produced a series of 16 short 8mm films. These works are characterized by an obsession with the cyclical form and repetition. "Repetition is time made tangible, visually structured," the artist says.

The repetitiveness and absurdity of the actions is proof of the influence of Luis Buñuel. The meticulous lighting and editing techniques make these video artworks into a unique genre. When Fabre chooses the medium of film he does not do this simply to record a performance, he chooses it for its specific visual language and to highlight the features of the camera. In Fonteintje we see the artist taken on the role of a fountain. “I’m fond of undertaking actions in front of the camera ‘in private’. I take pleasure in doing the most idiotic and extreme things with my body. (Am I a voyeur of myself?).” 

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