JAN FABRE

Ян Фабр
얀 파브르
ヤン・ファーブル
history of tears

JAN FABRE 58

source: sacorkr

The Belgian choreographer/visual artist/theatre director Jan Fabre has created the second part of his major dance trilogy devoted to man and the human body.

“History of Tears” is about the bodily fluids – our amazing and irrational tears of happiness and pain, our sweat as well as the tears of God falling from heaven. Drawing inspiration from the many tears represented in Andersen’s world, including “The Little Mermaid”, Fabre poses questions such as: “What right do lovers have to weep?” and “When were the tears of human sensitivity transformed into female sentimentality?” Jan Fabre was born in Antwerp in 1958 and was one of the major stars of the performing arts during the 1990s. Although he chooses not to define himself as a choreographer, his performances nonetheless focus on the body as an expressive media. His performances draw on a wide range of artistic genres, including dance, spoken drama, and visual art. The results are choreographed and highly visual and dynamic performances.

Explaining his History of Tears, the Belgian director Jan Fabre (1958) points out that the human body consists for 75% of water, which he calls ‘the tears of the body.’ They can be tears of joy or sorrow, or of sweat which is created by fear and stress, or they can be the tears of god, raining from the sky, he explains. But where do all these tears ultimately come from? Are they merely chemistry of the body, or is something else at play? Why has at a certain point ‘sensitivity’ turned into ‘sentimentality’? These are some of the questions Jan Fabre poses himself in the new production for his company Troubleyn. Besides his work in the theater, Fabre also is active as as a visual artist, choreographer, author and opera director. He became internationally known with his production The Power Of Theatrical Madness, which opened at the 1984 Venice Biennale. From that time on, his large-scale theatrical productions followed one after another. As a visual artist, he stirred the art world with his ‘Bic-art’ drawings and his work at the Royal Palace in Brussels, covering its ceiling with the shields of scarabees. The worldpremiere of History of Tears has opened the Festival d’Avignon in July 2005.

Jan Fabre is a drawer, sculptor, playwright and stage (drama and opera) director, choreographer and stage designer of European renown.

He studied in the Decorative Arts Institute and Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In his early years, he was a decorator, set and costume designer; in 1976-81, active in the field of performance art. At the time he too wrote a series of plays. His intellectual furnishing includes an interest in insects – inherited from a grand-grandfather, a renowned entomologist. Observing the microcosm of insects has become a source of inspiration for Fabre, as was the case with the ‘hour of the blue’ concept, again, the great-grandpa’s (night giving up the space to the daylight). A series of giant drawings has thus been conceived, the material being artificial silk, under the title of Hour of the Blue. Fabre’s driving force is intuition, and, instinct. He is much inspired by dreams, too. Thousands of his drawings are meant to compose a sort of a diary.

Drawing is for him the primary field of artistic research, as he himself says, ‘the simplest way to make out a magical rug of a[n ordinary] square. Or, to create a heavenly body out of an insect.
In drawing, anything is possible’ (interviewed by Jan Hoet). Insects are a propelling force behind Jan Fabre’s visual as well as theatrical work. He is fond of drawing – sculpture relationships, a deepened search into drawing being ‘drawing sculptures’ whereas into sculpture, drawings in which he would use peculiar sculpting techniques. Example being 19 m long and 10 m high drawings such as The flying cock, or, The road from the Earth to the stars is not smooth, or, the ‘drawing sculptures’: House of flames III, Scissors’ house.
‘Drawing is for me the way I speak, a language with a directness of enlightened stammering, one approaching the border of pure thinking. It is a form of ecstasy, a swelling sequence of dreams and visions getting enclosed in the act of drawing. There, a new temporal and spatial dimension emerges: the labyrinth of night. As it is with our own astral bodies, also a drawing has its peculiar aura. I am fascinated with a thought that people could not only see my visual art, but also, actually hear it. It is for this reason that I am fascinated, obviously with a voice singing in the midst of fear’, Fabre told Jan Hoet.

Since 1980, Jan Fabre has been engaged in theatrical, operatic, and dance performances. Troubleyn, a creative-work association established by Fabre, supports realisations of his projects. In theatre, he has been inspired by his own performance-art experiences which has borne fruit in, among other things, drawing much attention to body expression in acting. For him, the aesthetic, mental and energetic facets of spectacle are of equal import. His theatrical work is distinct with the strength of vivid stage images. Fabre is both the author as well as set and lightning designer for his performances. An important dimension of this work is a celebration of the qualities of time and space, provoking the spectator to somehow ‘switch’ his or her perception. Fabre’s theatre space is closed-off. In dance shows, he has employed his own visual-art concept of ‘diffracted space’; there, the space is set in motion while individual moves of dancers get limited. These spectacles picture a tension between ordered universe and chaos.

International renown became for Fabre in 1982 with his 8-hour-long performance entitled This is the theatre one should have awaited and expected. A famous event was also the 1984 show The power of theatrical frenzy staged to open the Biennial in Venice. Fabre made his debut as a choreographer with Dance sections (1987), presented as part of the documenta 8 in Kassel, and meant as initial study toward Fabre’s first opera, staged 1990 at the Flemish Opera, Antwerp. The opera, named Glass in the head will be made of glass was an initial part of the operatic trilogy headed The Minds of Helen Troubleyn (music by Polish composer Eugeniusz Knapik). In 1989, at invitation of William Forsyth, Fabre staged three shows featuring the Frankfurt Ballet. Again in Frankfurt, he produced the widely presented ballet performance Sound of one clapping hand. In 1990’s, Fabre made the human body a subject-matter of his theatrical trilogy composed of: Sweet temptations, Universal copyrights 1 & 9, and Luminous icons. He also produced a series of chamber plays, written mostly for Els Deceukelier, an outstanding actress. 1997 saw a cycle of dance solos entitled The Four Temperaments, whilst the 1998/99 season was one of two spectacles: a big-sized play The end comes a little bit earlier this century. But business as usual, along with one for two to play – The values of night.

Jan Fabre’s stage output is a persistent search for the absolute beauty and spirituality. He describes himself and his dancers as ‘the warriors of beauty’. Himself, he dances, as it were, on the high-set borderline between the art and life, driven by that paradoxical concept of his: ‘I attempt at creating as little amount of art as is possible’. Fabre is deemed to be a significant personage in the visual arts and theatre of 1990’s. His productions have been staged in several countries of Europe, as well as in the USA, Japan, and Australia. He approaches all the artistic fields he cultivates with equal seriousness, while too advocating interdisciplinary art. For many years now, Fabre has been a contributor to the renowned Antwerp ‘deSingel’ arts centre. His visual works are displayed in significant European museums and galleries.

The Rozdroze’99/Crossroads’99 festival provides Polish spectators with an opportunity to see Jan Fabre’s work shown in this country for the first time.

In 2004 he becomes Grand Officer in the Order of the Crown of Belgium.
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source: source: janfabrebe

Eind de jaren ’70, maakt de nog heel jonge Jan Fabre furore als performance kunstenaar; tijdens zijn Money performances steekt hij pakken geld van het publiek in brand om met de as tekeningen te maken. In 1982 legt hij met Het is theater zoals te verwachten en te voorzien was een fragmentatiebom onder het zitvlees van het toenmalige theaterbestel.

De bevestiging komt twee jaar later met De macht der theaterlijke dwaasheden op uitnodiging van de Biënnale van Venetië. Deze twee voorstellingen staan in heel wat literatuur over hedendaags theater beschreven en reisden destijds de wereld rond.
Jan Fabre groeide uit tot een van de meest veelzijdige kunstenaars van de internationale scène. Ook vandaag nog, onderzoekt en breekt hij met de codes van het bestaande theater door er real time performance in te brengen — “levende installaties” noemt men ze soms; dan weer ondervraagt hij het medium dans in een poging om de choreografische mogelijkheden om de dans te verrijken….

Het lichaam in al zijn gedaanten is van in de vroege jaren tachtig tot nu, het centrale voorwerp van zijn onderzoek.

Jan Fabre (°Antwerpen, 1958) staat in binnen- en buitenland bekend als een van de meest vernieuwende en veelzijdige kunstenaars van zijn generatie. Hij heeft zich de voorbije 30 jaar geprofileerd als performancekunstenaar, theatermaker, choreograaf, operamaker, theaterauteur en beeldend kunstenaar. In elk genre dat hij bespeelt, verlegt hij grenzen.

AUTEUR
Jan Fabre schrijft zijn teksten bijna altijd met het oog op een (virtuele) enscenering: Fabres hele denkwereld en de inmiddels bekende obsessies en terugkerende motieven zijn erin terug te vinden, vanaf de eerste teksten die hij als zeer jonge kunstenaar schreef, tot de meer bewust gecomponeerde teksten van recentere datum.

Het zijn literaire teksten die tegelijk ook zijn denken over theater illustreren: theater als een totaalkunstwerk waarin het woord een weloverwogen, functionele plaats krijgt naast parameters als dans, muziek, opera, performance-elementen en improvisatie. De soberheid waarmee Fabre het medium tekst hanteert, dwingt tot een vernieuwende manier van theater maken. Ook toekomstige generaties regisseurs die met deze teksten aan de slag gaan, zullen er allesbehalve conventioneel theater uit kunnen puren.

De vroege teksten uit de jaren zeventig, schreef Jan Fabre om zijn toen reeds heftige verbeeldingswereld vorm te geven. Het gaat om teksten die pas vele jaren later in de openbaarheid kwamen, toen ze door de auteur zelf werden geënsceneerd. Andere teksten zijn ontstaan tijdens het repetitieproces, op basis van improvisaties met de acteurs. Soms gaat het om een combinatie van auteursteksten en improvisatieteksten. Een aantal van de teksten zijn monologen, maar ook de teksten voor meerdere personages vallen op door hun monologische karakter.

Realistische dialogen zijn —net als uit het leven gegrepen anekdotes— nauwelijks te vinden in Fabres theaterwerk. De teksten hebben eerder een conceptueel karakter, zijn poëtisch en geven vorm aan oeroude rituelen en thema’s die de auteur fascineren, filosofische vragen die hem obsederen… Maar net zo goed vinden we er het geweld en het genot van het volle leven in terug, de uitbundige en soms donkere ervaring van schoonheid, erotiek en feest — elementen waarin Fabre de ene keer opgaat, om er zich dan weer uit terug te trekken.

BEELDEND KUNSTENAAR
De beeldende kunst van Jan Fabre is ondergebracht in Angelos bvba. Angelos (engelen, boodschappers) coördineert in de praktijk alle beeldende kunstprojecten van Jan Fabre, gaande van museum- en galerietentoonstellingen, openbare en private opdrachten tot de uitgave van catalogi en edities. Angelos treedt tevens op als producent voor de films van Fabre en coördineert zijn performances. Angelos is daarmee het aanspreekpunt voor musea, kunsthallen, galeries, onafhankelijke curatoren, uitgevers, verzamelaars en journalisten.
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source: desingelbe

Jan Fabre est né à Anvers en 1958. Il y a suivi une formation à l’Académie Royale des Beaux Arts et au ‘Stedelijk Instituut voor Sierkunsten en Ambachten’ (Institut Municipal des Arts décoratifs et des Métiers). C’est durant cette période, entre 1976 et 1980, que Fabre a écrit ses premiers textes de théâtre. C’est également pendant ses jeunes années qu’il a présenté ses premières expositions en tant qu’artiste plastique et réalisé un grand nombre de performances et d’événements en Belgique et à l’étranger. Il a commencé à mettre en scène en 1980. Le tableau chronologique suivant permet de situer l’œuvre théâtrale de Fabre.
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source: sculptureorg

Jan Fabre lives and works in his native Antwerp. Contemporary art aficionados know him for his powerful figurative or abstract drawings executed in blue ballpoint and his sculptures fraught with surface ornament. Fabre’s early drawings and sculptures of the 1970s reveal his abiding interest in performance art. The drawings often explored themes or motifs for a range of performance pieces, and the sculptures frequently arose out of live acts involving the body. Fabre’s works, which treat the weighty subjects of life, memory, and death by indirection, often come across as great feats of physical endurance.

The drawings, consisting of dense, monochrome fields of all-over hatching marks, eventually grew in scale. They were displayed either freestanding, with their rectos and versos exposed to view like pieces of sculpture, or glued onto forms ranging from bathtubs and sheds to the vast Castle Tivoli at Mechelen (1990), near Antwerp. The copper thumbtacks that Fabre employed in the early sculptures to encase representations of his body, as well as accompanying objects, eventually made way for (usually green) iridescent jewel beetles. The latter were affixed to invisible armatures of wire-mesh, suggesting three-dimensional things such as a urinal, a microscope, a Latin cross, a dress, and a hooded mantle. Today, the artist encloses voids with thin slices of human bone mounted on wire-mesh supports.

Fabre’s interest in performance art is reflected in his manifold activities as actor, author, choreographer, and film and theater director. This Belgian artist with seemingly inexhaustible energy is also the co-founder, publisher, and co-editor of Janus, a quarterly magazine on art and culture. Fabre has had over 50 one-person shows since 1984 and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1984 and 1997), the Bienal de São Paulo (1991), Documenta IX (1992), and the Istanbul Biennale (1992 and 2001). This interview took place late one night at a terrace on the main civic square of Bruges, following a rehearsal of Fabre’s new theater production Parrots and Guinea Pigs (2002).