Jan Fabre

Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart ?
April 22 > May 31, 2014

Selected works
Press release -
Persbericht -

For his first gallery exhibition in Brussels, artist Jan Fabre (born in 1958 in Antwerp) is presenting a new installation of sculptures made from white Carrara marble. The preview showing of the film Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart? is at the heart of an installation that explores the mysteries of the human brain.

As an ardent proponent of dialogue between different fields of knowledge, Jan Fabre has studied neurology for over ten years, working with a number of renowned scientists. Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart? is a dialogue between the artist and famous Italian neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, the man behind a major discovery, the mirror neurons that are the basis of the capacity for empathy.

As a romantic humanist, Fabre has turned to marble in his quest to investigate the brain, the physical counterpart of the intellect and seat of creativity. Imitation and empathy, the features that distinguish humans from animals, and human emotional and cognitive states are all themes he explores. Lobes, veins and arteries are laid bare by Fabre, who creates startling associations with objects, fruit and food used in Rizzolatti’s experiments. Those instruments
and objects appear in the new series of drawings that examines other poetic possibilities of the brain, drawn from references to art history.

“The brains Jan Fabre present are the synecdoche of all imaginable human beings. The representation of the brain is extremely receptive: we can project all individuals onto it, starting with ourselves,” points out art historian Jo Coucke.

For over 35 years, Jan Fabre has emerged internationally as one of the most innovative visual artist, theater artist and author of his generation. With L’Ange de la Métamorphose in 2008, he was the first living artist to be invited to exhibit at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Among his most important solo exhibitions of the last years we can cite Hortus/Corpus at Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo in the Netherlands (2011) and The Years of the Hour Blue at the
Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (2011). Until February 16 of this year, the MAXXI Museum in Rome made the first retrospective about Fabre’s activities as a performance artist. Stigmata, Actions et Performances 1976-2013 will then be shown in other museums such as M HKA in Antwerp in March 2015. The PinchukArtCenter in Kiev presents a two part exhibition until October 2015 : Tribute to Hiëronymus Bosch in Congo (2011-2013) and Tribute to Belgian Congo (2010-2013). At the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, not far from Galerie Daniel Templon in Brussels, are shown Le Regard en Dedans (l’Heure Bleue) (2011-2013) – a permanent installation created by Jan Fabre for the Royal Staircase of the museum – as well as the classical display Chapters I-XVIII. Waxes & Bronzes (2010). The exhibition catalogue in three languages, French, Dutch and English, with contributions from Bart Verschaffel and Melania Rossi, will be available from 22 April 2014.

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