Antwerp - Pietas by Jan Fabre18/05/2012
PIETAS JAN FABRE
25 May - 23 September 2012
The city of Antwerp will present the exhibition PIETAS JAN FABRE. Created by Jan Fabre in 2011, this marble sculptural suite was featured for the first time during the 54th Venice Biennale, where it occupied the prestigious Nuova Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia. In the artist's home city of Antwerp, PIETAS will be the first exhibition to be held in the renovated Parkloods in Park Spoor Noord.
In PIETAS, created in 2011, Fabre's five white marble sculptures describe variations on the theme of the Pietà, the iconic image of Mary cradling the dead body of her son Jesus in her arms. Fabre's interpretation presents concepts such as grief and acceptance, death and rebirth as well as man's capacity for imagination, inventiveness and art. As was the case in the 'Anthropology of a Planet' (2007) and 'From the Feet to the Brain' (2008-2009) exhibitions, the brain also plays a key role in this work. 'Pietà I-IV' are large brain sculptures that figure as a base-world-cosmos for a range of naturalist and Christian symbolic systems. In the manner of mile poles or stations of the cross, the four brain-sculptures compel viewers along the path to the exhibition's apotheosis: the 'Merciful Dream (Pietà V)'. In this impressive piece, a challenging interpretation of Michelangelo's iconic work, Fabre puts himself in the place of the Christ figure, and replaces Mary's face with a skull. The four brain sculptures and the reinterpretation of Michelangelo's 'Piëta' are rendered in white Carrara marble and placed in geometrical orientation on a platform covered in 24-carat gold leaf. Hung around them are the 'Cocoon I-X' amulets, covered in shiny green jewel beetle shields.
Image: © Angelos bvba. Photo: Pat Verbruggen – Merciful Dream (Pietà V) (detail)