Wetenschap & Experiment [Science & Experiment]
Jan Fabre's fascination for the body and for science goes back to childhood days. The young Fabre liked nothing better than studying the world of insects and other animals, dissecting their small bodies and transforming them into new beings. His discovery of the famous French entomologist and namesake Jean-Henri Fabre, opened up a new world to him and would come to leave its mark on his entire artistic universe. During the performance Me, Dreaming, the artist explores his own body. He sands the flesh of his legs, like he sands the table's wood. Object becomes body; body becomes object.
De man die de wolken meet [The man who measures clouds] is, aside from being a tribute to his deceased twin brother, also an homage to death and the role of the artist. The performance gives expression to the "planning of the impossible". The piece symbolizes the stubborn determination required to chart that which cannot be inventoried. The romantic image of the attempt to apply empirical data to an ever-changing natural world is, moreover, fully in harmony with Fabre's artistic practice. The title is based on the remark made by prisoner and ornithologist Robert Stroud upon his release from Alcatraz: “I’m going to measure the clouds.”
The new millennium sees Jan Fabre being invited to be the first artist-in-residence at The Natural History Museum in London. He worked for years on the film A Consilience, for which he had the museum's scientists clothed as an animal from their respective branches of research
In the film Is the brain the most sexy part of the body?, the face-to-face is between the scientist (Edward O. Wilson) and the artist (Jan Fabre). They use the cross fertilization between their domains to better understand the brain and beauty. For Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart?, the artist enters into dialogue with Italian neurologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, discoverer of mirror neurons which may be responsible for our empathic sense. The marble Pietas from Fabre are inspired by this discovery.
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Action: Thee-kater [Tea-h...
Jan Fabre, Action: Thee-kater [Tea-hangover], 1980. Performance, 00:10:00.
A Gambling battle between...
Jan Hoet, Jan Fabre, A Gambling battle between a curator and an artist , 1991. Performance, 03:00:00.
Action: The Man Measuring...
Jan Fabre, Action: The Man Measuring the Clouds, 1997-2000. Performance, various.
Nose Laboratory / Project...
Jan Fabre, Nose Laboratory / Project for Nocturnal Territory, 1978-1979. Performance, several nights.