Art kept me out of jail (and out of museums) Jan Fabre signs an illy art collection to be made in an edition of 1000 on the occasion of his performance at the Louvre April 22, 2008
Paris, 22 April 2008 - For his performance, “Art kept me out of jail (and out of museums)”, at the Louvre, Flemish artist Jan Fabre has designed a single cup for the illy art collection, which will be produced in a limited edition of 1000 copies.
Fabre explores one his favourite themes, that of sacrifice, choosing the colours red and black (for both the cup and saucer), which are essentially colours of passion, of love, struggle and politically those of anarchy. Printed in black are the words: ART KEPT ME OUT OF JAIL (on the cup) AND OUT OF MUSEUMS (on the saucer at the point where the cup rests).
Jan Fabre continues the investigation of one of the themes he already explored in his 1981 performance, “Art kept me out of the jail”, extending the theme of liberty in relation to the system of art, which in this case is represented by the museum, and he does so in the Louvre, the very archetype of a museum.
The artist calls into question this “gilded cage” with a performance dedicated to Jacques Mesrine, one of France’s most famous thieves and former public enemy number one, adored by the world of cinema and music, which dedicated films and music to him, and who was killed by the French police in 1979. Fabre has always been interested in criminal energy, considered in the tradition of the creativity of the negative inaugurated in the early modernist era by Friederich Nietzsche.
“For the occasion, Fabre prepares a performance in which he disguises himself as countless criminal figures, a metaphor of metamorphosis and evasion, a metamorphosis of identity, which remains the same and yet is always different; and he does so in the same room as the Nike of Samothrace.” Giacinto di Pietrantonio
In 2006, the artist had already designed an illy art collection, “L’ora blu” (’The blue hour’) in which the dusk, metamorphosis between day and night, became a symbol for the cycle of life itself.
About the Artist
Jan Fabre (Antwerp, 1958) is one of Belgium’s most important contemporary artists. Every medium and technique is used to test and explore the world, science and emotions. A draughtsman, sculptor, script-writer and dramatist, he has presented his work at the Biennale of Venice, Istanbul and São Paulo, and at Documenta in Kassel. One-man shows of his work have been held at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, at the Kunsthalle in Basle, at the MUHKA Museum of Antwerp and at the Schirn Kunsthalle of Frankfurt and in many other museums.
Note for Editors:
The cup will be on sale in the Louvre bookshop from 23rd April to 7th July for the duration of the “L’Ange de la Metamorphose” exhibition. Jan Fabre will be exhibition his works within the 40 rooms of the museum’s permanent collection dedicated to Flemish painters. Subject to availability, the cup is also for sale in the e-shop at illy usa
The illy Art Collection, a series of artistic cups introduced by the Trieste coffee maker in 1992 and which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is one of the clearest expressions of the relationship that illycaffè entertains with contemporary art. Some of the most respected exponents of the international art scene and emerging artists have turned an everyday object – the coffee cup, reinvented by architect and designer, Matteo Thun - into a cult object. Michelangelo Pistoletto and Marina Abramovic, Jeff Koons and Bob Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Julian Schnabel are only some of the masters who have contributed to this project.
With the authors of the seventy-plus collections created to date, illy has maintained partnerships that continue to develop through artistic and cultural projects. The illy Art Collection - in signed, numbered, and limited editions – is available around the world, in bars, shops that distribute illy products and through the website, illy. The Collection is available while supplies last.