American Works and Window Performance

Jan Fabre


Performance, 03:00:00.

Antwerp, Galerie Blanco

As homage to his stay in America Jan Fabre places himself in the shopwindow like a prostitute, eats peanuts (reference to president Jimmy Carter), writes poetic texts on the window and makes drawings with lipstick. He has bouncers with baseball bats stand guard outside the art gallery and he serves Campbell’s soup. 

'It's three in the morning.
I've just got home.
The preview at the Blanco gallery was lively.
Energy, vitality and an ongoing performance.
The public were standing outside waiting to get in.
(A bit like the atmosphere of Studio 54 in NYC.)
Some people were angry, of course,
because they had to wait and pay to get in.
This was 'never done' in Antwerp
and the locals became aggressive.
But I was prepared.
The gallery was closed off with thin ropes
and I had put two men with baseball bats
at the door.
I had a wonderful time watching the reactions.'

(Jan Fabre, Antwerp, 5 December 1980)

'Today I saw some photos of my
'Window Performance' at the Blanco gallery.
In some of them I look like Gust the Gorilla
at the Zoo, sitting eating monkey nuts.
In another I'm a young art-whore
who takes himself too seriously.
And in one photo I look like I am:
dangerous and unpredictable.
(I'm afraid of myself when I see myself like that.)

(Jan Fabre, 8 December 1980)


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