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Jan Fabre and his Belge de Jour

With Sexual Belgian Folklore and Sexual Belgian North Sea, the Antwerp-born artist focuses on the complexities of his home country’s national identity

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Text by Rab Messina

Banknotes and Bic pens are a thing of the past: the most recent Jan Fabre exhibition is all about sexy, sexy Belgium. Or maybe not.

In Sexual Belgian Folklore and Sexual Belgian North Sea, a twofold exhibition taking place at Galerie Templon’s new Paris space, the multidisciplinary artist examines the complex layers of his home country’s identity.

The nation’s diverse folkloric output is dissected through a series of drawings based on the typologies of art for secular festivals —garish and outlandish— and religion —subtle and serious—, overlapping with ideas of sex. These pieces interact with sculptures with painted penises aplenty. These were made from objects that had a previous life inside churches, but were actually found in attic sales.

This exhibition is a thematic continuation of Belgian Rules/Belgium Rules, a 2017 stage piece that looked to connection, instead of regionalism, as an answer to forming a contemporary national identity. Or, as he called it, “an ode to [this] crazy country.”

The double exhibition is on display at Galerie Templon Paris from May 17 to July 21

jan fabre
Sexy Angel
jan fabre
Organ Player
jan fabre
Nun
jan fabre
Holy Blood
jan fabre
Chickens
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