Anthropology of a planet, set up in the rooms at the historic residence of Palazzo Benzon overlooking the Grand Canal. It presents the multifaceted research of the Flemish artist, ranging from sculpture to films, drawings and installations. The exhibition is curated by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, who also curated the 2003 solo show of Fabre’s films and drawings, Gaude Succurrere Vitae, at GAMeC in Bergamo and oversaw the publication of the monograph Homo Faber. The exhibition is part of collateral events at 52nd International Art Exhibition– La Biennale di Venezia.
In his multiple areas of expression, Fabre focuses his research on the body, understood as a physical reality and mental dimension. It is the brain, the physical counterpart of the intellect, that the artist concentrates on in this exhibition. He develops this particular theme – that are to be considered as models of thought – in drawings, sculptures, installations and films.
In addition to the artist’s obsession with the brain and its intellectual and creative potential, the show also reveals all the salient aspects of Fabre’s poetics; his art reflects the human nature – necessarily fragile and mortal – and the desire each of us has to overcome this precariousness, through the subjects that are intrinsic to the Flemish tradition: madness, illness, death, the sweetness of sin, regeneration and spiritual power. The human being, man’s precariousness and frailty are central to Fabre’s oeuvre, exalting the cycle of birth-life-death-rebirth. Man and death, therefore; and it is to death that the work work Ik spuw op mijn eigen graf (I Spit on my Tomb, 2007) refers.
Fabre’s work merges the quintessential aspects of human creation: science, technology and art. He is like a scientist collecting the data determining the essence of his creation: technique gives it form, and the artistic expression that Fabre decides to use is the outcome.
This solo show offers the public a look at this path and at the catharsis that is part of each living being through the diversity of the forms that the works acquire in the hands of this Flemish artist.
“I want to be a man who is fascinated
– like everyone –
by life and even more so by death”
Jan Fabre, Antropologia di un planeta (2007)