Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

Art Festival in Aardenburg

08.07.2017 – 10.09.2017

© Angelos bvba / Photo: Attilio Maranzano

Zeeland is one festival richer. In July, August and September the first edition of the art festival of Aardenburg takes place. For three months, the Zeelandic-Flemish state of Aardenburg bears the stamp of visual arts.

With work by well-known contemporary artists at special exhibition venues. Jan Fabre is the central artist in St. Bavo's Church. In the other locations, you’ll find a mix of painting, photography, sculpture and art installations.

Theme of the exhibition is Localisation. Where am I? In relation to myself and the other? In relation to the world? In relation to history? In relation to art?

The Arts Festival in Aardenburg also organizes numerous events and activities in theater, photography, film, poetry and music.


Sint Baafskerk - St. Bavo's Church 

Jan Fabre is one of the few artists active in three areas: theater, literature and visual arts. Every time he pushes boundaries. In much of his work, Fabre himself is present, concretely, in the form of his own figure or head.

In St. Bavo's Church we show 13 'Chapters', in which Fabre appears with various facial expressions and different horns. Man as an animal, man as a warrior. Decorated in such a way that it almost seems preposterous. But also, human beings as survivors in the jungle of existence. Fabre himself says the theme of the 15th-century morality play Elckerlijc served an inspiration. “Every person must die. I'm like another, I'm the other one! Each theme is a kind of mask. In succession, I depict myself as a gangster, clown, punk and even as a fool with donkey ears. I also have one with a sort of needle growing out of my skull like a thought. All those antlers are in a way crowns, antennas, but they could very well be defense mechanisms. It is a study of the landscape of physiognomy. I portrayed myself between the ages of 20 and 80.”

“The man who gives a light” is an image of daily life: Fabre is a heavy smoker. But it is also a reference to the Greek hero, Prometheus, who gave fire to humanity, giving inspiration as well as strength and insight. In Fabre's eyes, an artist does something similar. The image is related to the relationship with the Gods. Prometheus actually gave a piece of God's power to the people. The relationship with higher powers also plays a leading role in “The man who bears the cross.” Whoever can balance such a loaded symbol on his hand, demonstrates special qualities. But also takes a - possibly irresponsible - risk.

“The man writing on water” also has quite a few meanings. Such as, the seven bathtubs refer to the seven days of the week and thus to the Creation. The sixth tub is a symbol for Saturday, the day God created man. Fabre's finger on the water conveys the idea of how Michelangelo brought Adam to life. And water is a symbol of life, also in an evolutionary sense.



Tuesday - Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The exhibition site of St. Bavo’s Church is limited open on the following dates:

  • Saturdays 15, 22, 29 July and 5, 12, 19, 26 August: church hall closed from 2 pm to 4 pm
  • Sunday 23 July and Sunday 13 August: open from 12 am
  • Sunday 27 August: church hall closed between 14h and 17h
  • Sunday 3 September: church hall closed between 13h and 17h



+31 (0)6 25 32 10 81


St. Bavo's Church 
Sint Bavostraat 3
4527 CJ Aardenburg