Exhibition catalogue, Gisants, Galerie Templon, Paris (France), 2013
Texts by Jo Coucke, Marie Darrieussecq, Vincent Huguet and Bernard Marcelis (English and French)
Editions Galerie Templon, 2013
Hard cover, 19 x 27,5 cm
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Two years after the success of Piètas at the Venice Biennale, Jan Fabre is transforming Galerie Templon into a sacred chamber. The gallery space will play host to a pair of effigies in Carrare marble accompanied by sculptures depicting brains inhabited by insects and plants. Having previously tackled the subject of pièta, Jan Fabre now turns his attention to the secular tradition of displaying death.
Fabre pays homage to two figures whose discoveries enlightened the 20th century: Elizabeth Caroline Crosby (1918-1983), an American neuro-anatomist, and Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-1989), an Austrian biologist and zoologist. As a fervent advocate of inter-disciplinary dialogue, Jan Fabre has already addressed the neurosciences, primarily in his film Is the brain the most sexy part of the body? (2007)
If funerary sculptures invite us to meditate on the vanity of existence, the settings created by Jan Fabre question humanity’s ties with nature and its own nature. The brain, seat of intelligence and creativity, appears as a protector, a possible guide to the beyond. Insects—butterflies, bees, spiders and beetles—adopt the function traditionally reserved for dogs or lions in royal sepulchres, posed at the effigies’ feet: the promise of resurrection.
A bilingual French-English exhibition catalogue, with written contributions from Jo Coucke, Marie Darrieussecq, Vincent Huguet and Bernard Marcelis, will be available in February 2013.
Jan Fabre was born in 1958 in Antwerp where he lives and works. He has worked in the theatre and is an internationally renowned choreographer. Over the last twenty years he has also developed a body of art work based on a variety of materials, including blood, ball-point pen ink, beetle wings, bones, stuffed animals and marble. Jan Fabre is an inveterate draughtsman, creating sculptures and installations that explore topics such as metamorphosis, the dialogue between art and science, humankind’s relationship to nature and the artist as a warrior of beauty.