In the late 1970s, the still very young Jan Fabre caused a furore as a performance artist. His Money performances involved setting fire to bundles of money from the audience in order to make drawings with the ashes. In 1982, the work This is theatre like it was to be expected and foreseen placed a virtual bomb under the seat of the theatre establishment of the day.
Fabre has been writing his own plays since 1975, although it was not until 1989 that they were first performed. His texts form an exceptional collection of miniatures, as it were, with a very open writing style and reflect Fabre's concept of theatre as an all-encompassing form of art in which dialogue functions alongside other elements such as dance, music, opera, performance and improvisation. Chaos and discipline, repetition and madness, metamorphosis and the anonymous are all indispensible ingredients in Fabre's theatre. The acuteness and reserve with which he employs language demand innovative solutions which have also appeared at the hand of other directors to have worked with his texts.
Alongside age-old rituals and philosophical questions, Fabre also deals with such themes as violence, lust, beauty and erotica. The body in all its forms has been the subject of his investigations since the early 1980s. Productions such as Je suis sang, Tannhäuser, Angel of Death, Quando l'uomo principale è una donna, Orgy of tolerance,... have earned international acclaim in this respect. The invitation to help lend artistic shape to the Avignon Festival in 2005 can undoubtedly be seen as a pinnacle of Fabre's work in the domain of performing arts.
Jan Fabre (Antwerp, °1958) is a graduate of the Municipal Institute of Decorative Arts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He is well known both at home and abroad as one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his generation. Over the past 30 years, he has produced works as a performance artist, theatre maker, choreographer, opera maker, playwright and visual artist. Jan Fabre is renowned for expanding the horizons of every genre to which he applies his artistic vision.