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Main pageNewsSolo exhibition of Jan Fabre and (De-)Construction. Reality and Fiction

Solo exhibition of Jan Fabre and (De-)Construction. Reality and Fiction

7 February 2014

On Friday, 7 February 2014, the PinchukArtCentre presents three exhibitions:

• first solo show in Eastern Europe by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre;

(De-)Construction. Reality and Fiction, an exhibition featuring videos by Christian Marclay (US), Diana Thater (US) and Pierre Huyghe (France);
“Contemporary Ukrainian Artists and Panton Chair” – a project by DAVIS company in cooperation with the PinchukArtCentre.

The first solo show in Eastern Europe by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre consisting of two chapters, Tribute to Belgian Congo (2010–2013) and Tribute to Hieronymus Bosch in Congo (2011–2013), continues elaborating his critical reflections on the Belgium’s colonial past, a theme that appeared in his oeuvre in 2002 when he used millions of beetle wings to create a monumental ceiling painting “Heaven of Delight” for the Royal Palace of Belgium in Brussels. 

The first chapter, entitled “Tribute to Belgian Congo”, is inspired by the enslavement of millions of Congolese and the atrocities committed against them as well as the greed of the colonialists, who stole as much as possible of the natural riches the country had to offer. Fabre depicts the brand logos and products of companies that co-organized the horrors in the name of profit, the whole pride of Belgian industrialists of the late 19th century.

The second chapter of the exhibition, called “Tribute to Hieronymus Bosch in Congo”, deals with the absurdity and horror of what happened in the country in a more symbolical way, using both the iconography and imagery of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. The works give artistic form to evil deeds and stand as an arresting critique of the folly that ensues when men lose their bearings in life.

Eckhard Schneider, General Director of the PinchukArtCentre: “The works for PinchukArtCentre are saturated with history and many stories – of life and death and of never-ending beauty, revealed as a dazzling counterpoint to the terror of the crimes committed.”

The show features 36 astonishing mosaics, 23 sculptures and 2 major triptychs, including 28 new works created especially for the exhibition in the PinchukArtCentre.

The scale of mosaics in the exhibition refers to traditional history paintings, allowing Fabre to show the virtuosity of his technique which brings the material itself to life. With a great sense of plasticity, Fabre paints with light, using the prismatic quality of the jewel beetle’s wing shields to break up the spectrum. The colours continually change, ranging from an intense dark green to a deep blue, creating depths and reliefs inside each single piece.

(De-)Construction. Reality and Fiction is an exhibition featuring three videos by Christian Marclay (US), Diana Thater (US) and Pierre Huyghe(France). These major video installations share the theme of constructing and/or deconstructing culturally defined concepts. The works establish a tension between reality and fiction, challenging the viewers’ relations towards these notions. 

“Crossfire” (2007) by Christian Marclay, first shown in the PinchukArtCentre in 2008, is a four-channel video of different people handling their guns. It is a collage of images derived from American westerns and war movies. The audio-visual composition of Crossfire de-constructs the act of shooting, allowing the viewers to rationalize their emotional and physical response, emphasizing fascination for, and fear of, violence.

“Chernobyl” (2011) by Diana Thater is a six-screen monumental video projection depicting the destroyed, still completely unrepaired situation in the nuclear disaster zone of Chernobyl. The installation constructs an all-around impression, surrounding us from each side with projections disrupted only by the viewers’ shadows.

“The host and the cloud” (2010) by Pierre Huyghe is the result of a yearlong experiment and a series of events the artist organized at the former building of the National Museum of Folk Art in Paris. The work offers a journey through the documented research during which Huyghe created conditions that forced the participants of his performance and invited witnesses to deal with the frictions between reality and fiction, as well as original incident and re-enactment.

From 7 February exhibition project “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” – a joint show of the ANTIAIDS Foundation and the PinchukArtCentre dedicated to the theme of HIV/AIDS in contemporary art - continues. The exhibition was opened ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. It bridges artists’ early response to AIDS in the US in the 1980-90s with today’s urgent need to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in Ukraine. The project includes iconic works by Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Nan Goldin, Félix González-Torres, Sergiy Bratkov and Ilya Chichkan.

Additionally, from February 7 to  April 7 the PinchukArtCentre will be hosting a project of DAVIS company entitled “Contemporary Ukrainian Artists and Panton Chair”. This exhibition refers to the interaction between contemporary design and art. The chair created by the legendary Danish designer Verner Panton, a sensation and a design icon of the 1960s, became an object for artistic interpretation. 17 Ukrainian artists took part in the project.

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