Jan Fabre at M HKA


Artist: Jan Fabre

Exhibition title: Stigmata, Actions & Performances 1976–2013

Curated by: Germano Celant

Venue: M HKA, Antwerp, Beglium

Date:  Abril 24 – September 27, 2015

Photography: images courtesy of the artist, Angelos and M HKA, Antwerp

M HKA has a permanent commitment to Jan Fabre. The museum bases its exploration of the artist’s work on his performances, which can be considered as the ‘primal source’ of all his other work.

This was also the approach of the double project on Fabre realised together with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) in 2006, Homo Faber. The section presented at the KMSKA led to the exhibition Ange de la métamorphose at the Louvre in Paris in 2008 and will be presented next year in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The M HKA presentation was given an impressive sequel in the exhibition which Fabre realised in 2013 together with the legendary curator Germano Celant in the MAXXI in Rome: Stigmata, Actions & Performances 1976–2013. This exhibition is now coming to M HKA, and will travel from Antwerp to the MAC in Lyon. M HKA is the main lender for this exhibition, which presents all the performances of the artist in a special arrangement. A 644-page book, published by the Italian publishing house Skira, accompanies the exhibition.

Stigmata presents an overview of the performances of Jan Fabre in an entirely unique manner. The exhibitional approach is a radical extension of a presentational mode the artist already explored in Homo Faber: instruments from performances presented on tables with glass tops on trestles. In Stigmata, the presentation has turned into a veritable sea of dozens of tables upon which are collected memories of performances in the most diverse of ways; by means of the objects used Fabre, or the scale models he calls ‘thought models’, as well as drawings, photos and all sorts materials that could be considered of ‘documentary value’. These disparate items regain, in this setup, a great sense of immediacy as the viewer is confronted with ever new impressions through the immediate, physical closeness with the tables and that which is presented upon it.

Here and there, figures emerge from the sea of tables, together with the costumes used in his performances. This exhibition also invades the surfaces of the walls in an imposing manner and presents, along with thirty or so film and video recordings, ensembles of monumental photographs that have become images in and of themselves, as well as the famous BIC floor cloths from the M HKA collection. Stigmata, Actions & Performances 1976–2013 is a generous, lively overview that is not intended as an exhibition, but rather as a presentation whose powerful format allows the performances to come alive and be rediscovered again.

The exhibition is realised in cooperation with Angelos and was made possible with the support of At The Gallery and LIMA.


















Jan Fabre, A Meeting Vstrecha, Fly Costume, 1997, photo Lieven Herreman, © Angelos bvba, courtesy Deweer gallery


Jan Fabre, Do We Feel With Our Brain and Think With Our Heart, 2012, photo Lieven Herreman, courtesy Angelos, © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, A meeting Vstrecha (The Mystery of Art), 1997,© Angelos bvba, courtesy The Deweer Collection


Jan Fabre, Bic dweilen, 1979, detail, © Angelos bvba, photo M HKA, collection M HKA


Jan Fabre, Buried – Me in a Preserving Jar, 1979, © Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, Delusion Of The Day, 1977, Antwerp Municipal Institute of Decorative Arts and Crafts, © Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, I Am The Same Pole, 2010, Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, MOT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, © Angelos bvba, collection M HKA


Jan Fabre, ich bin ein Skelettemann, 1988, photo Lieven Herreman © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, Ilad of the Bic Art, The Bic Art Room, 1981, drawing, photo Lieven Herreman © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, Ilad of the Bic Art, The Bic Art Room, 1981, Tiba Art Collection, photo Pat Verbruggen © Angelos bvba, courtesy Deweer Gallery


Jan Fabre, Ilad of the Bic Art, The Bic Art Room, 1981 installation, Salon Odessa, Leiden, Nederland, photo Fred Balhuizen, © Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, It Is Kill Or Cure, 1982, performance Franklin Furnace, New York , photo Patrick Sellitto © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, My Body, My Blood, My Landscape, 1978, © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, Rea(dy)-make of the Money Performance, Antwerp 1980, photo Lieven Herreman, © Angelos bvba, collection Angelos bvba


Jan Fabre, Red Lines Performance, 1976, Antwerp, © Angelos bvba, collection M HKA


Jan Fabre, Sanguis/Mantis, 2001, Courtesy Angelos, Photo Maarten Vanden Abeele


Jan Fabre, Sanguis Mantis, 2001, Performance Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, photo Maarten Vanden Abeele, © Angelos bvba, collection M HKA


Jan Fabre, The Arabian Prince, 1978, performance Antwerp, Handelstraat, fruit and vegetable market,© Angelos bvba, collection M HKA


Jan Fabre, Virgin Warrior, 2006, performance with Jan Fabre and Marina Abramović, Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, photo Attilio Maranzano © Angelos bvba, collection M HKA