Sanguis / Mantis

Jan Fabre


Performance, 05:00:00.

Lyon, Les Subsustances

For over five hours Jan Fabre, moving in a heavy armour based on the praying mantis, writes a manifest in his own blood, ‘there’s no getting used to art’. The performance is divided into different actions in which he makes his blood drawings with various tools. 


'Tomorrow I want to question myself
To the extreme again.
I shall examine myself with a magnifying glass.
The inside and outside of my body.
And give Performance art new meaning
for myself.
(So I no longer hear myself telling my actors
about the performances I did in 'the past'.)
I'm dead nervous.
It's been a couple of years since I last carried
out an unannounced apparition of death.
Will I be able to physically and mentally sustain
the twelve stages of my new performance
'Sanguis / Mantis'?
We shall discover tomorrow!
I, the armoured seer, intend to write a manifesto
with my own blood.
The title of my performance-manifesto is 'There's no getting used to art'.
The rest of the text will flow out of my body
tomorrow (I hope).'

(Jan Fabre, Lyon, 21 May 2001)

'Just arrived from Lyon.
Three o'clock in the night.
I'm Mediaevally broken.
The performance of 'Sanguis / Mantis' lasted
more than five hours.
During the last hour I fell ill.
Sick and constantly feeling like vomiting.
I had the feeling I was making my own
gravestone right there.
(Later it turned out that I had been inhaling the rust that
my breath had formed inside the metal helmet).
But right now I am happy that I have done this new
What an indispensable physical sensation for an artist!
For me personally it was also a tribute to the French
performance artist Orlan.
And a birthday present for the performance festival.
(Orlan was the first to invite me to put on a performance
in France, twenty years ago, at this same festival.)
What a pleasant night.
I have brought a treasure with me from Lyon.
A series of fantastic blood drawings created during
the performance.
Now I'm going to select the best ones.
And destroy the rest and bury them in my Southern
French dustbin.'

(Jan Fabre, Avignon, 22 May 2001)


Media View all

Events View all

Ensembles View all

Actors View all