Collection: Collectie M HKA, Antwerp.
Already during his training as window dresser at the City School of Arts and Crafts the young Jan Fabre is searching for the limits of the shopwindow. Here the artist himself takes the place of the mannequin. The snails, painted with the Belgian tricolour, are both tribute to and critique of the slow but united Belgium.
"GC In 1977 you created a work called Window Performance (No. 6), which lasted seven hours and was set in a shop window. What actions did you perform in this greatly reduced space?
JF Well, just lying naked with the snails crawling over my body. And the snails were in the colours of the Belgian flag with the golden crowns on top. In these years I had the feeling I was living in a slow country where in my eyes little was happening and time was crawling like a snail. And of course the performance was also about the different perception and experience of time. The seven hours represented the cycle of repetition and through repetition purification."
(Celant, G. Jan Fabre. Stigmata. Action & Performances 1976-2013. Skira, 2014, p.173)
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The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public