Mur de la montée des anges

Jan Fabre


Installation, 142 x 53 cm.
Materials: chicken wire, jewel beetles

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community (Inv. no. BK6146_M132).

The Antwerp visual artist and theatre maker Jan Fabre (b. 1958) is a multidisciplinary artistic phenomenon. He is an energetic performer who explores the limits of theatrical admissibility, and he is a dedicated visual artist who creates a universe with insects, scarabs and bic-drawings that abounds with mystical references, metamorphoses and personifications. He is included in Sanguine/Bloedrood with two blood drawings that refer directly to his challenging performances from the early eighties in which he uses his own body as an experimental laboratory to express the potent vitality of existence. Urges, desires, beauty and mortality are recurring themes, both on stage and in his visual work. The extent to which two blend together is already apparent in the 1978 performance "My body, my blood, my landscape": on stage, the artist carves into his own body and makes his first blood drawings on the spot. In the following years, he creates wedding dresses with green-blue beetles, inks night blue bic-drawings and makes gilded sculptures of animals and skulls. Fabre fantasises, glorifies and brandishes, yet hidden behind the dazzling beauty displayed, there is always a different world, a bloody and animalesque underworld. The figures that appear in his work are often angels, warriors, skeletons and animals. They are disguised messengers who emerge from the past to remind us of decay and destruction, of blood and suffering, of the animal in man and the human in the animal. His keen interest in insects is already evident from several collages and drawings of beetles and spiders from the later 70s, but only manifests itself in the 90s when he creates his enchanting Mur de la montée des anges, an elegant wedding dress made of green-blue jewel beetles. It shows the romantic beauty of a woman's silhouette, but its feather-light shape is only retained by a penetrating sense of transience. In the smallness of the early blood drawings, Luc Tuymans sees both a humble and a grand gesture: a trace of blood as a remnant of Jan Fabre's personal writing.

Events View all

Ensembles View all

Actors View all