Friday, 12 April 2013

When art becomes a crime - the Jan Fabre case

Posted on 07/04/13

When Belgian artist Jan Fabre decided to abuse cats during the shooting of a film about himself last year, the cultural world unisono decided that we all had to see this in the light of art. As a side-note it was mentioned that the cats weren't really abused. Not abused? They were throwing - tranquillized - cats high up in the air on the stairs. The animals literally smacked on the ground. No reason for the cultural world to see the harm, even worse, anyone questioning the tactics of this artist' got immediately branded as being a fascist. (It's the easiest way to shut up critics these days actually, just turn your opponent into a fascist.) It didn't really help, over 20.000 complaints were received.

What if he could turn his critics into villains? Good idea, so Fabre claimed a few days after the incident that he had been attacked because of the cat throwing. The Police never found any proof that the attack really happened and it's believed that Fabre staged it in order to distract the public's attention from the animal abuse.

You would think that after this charade that Fabre would stop with his not so artful practices. But no. It now was revealed that Fabre had tarantulas walking through a field with razor blades at an exhibition in Eupen (BE) in November last year. Throughout the expo he was heard giving rather sadist remarks on the 'art piece'. People present at the exhibition were so horrified that Fabre was forced to add nail polish to lubricate the blades, so they were less sharp.

"This is the art of a sadist" was also the conclusion of Flanders leading newspaper De Standaard. A sadist which gets 840.000 Euro subsidies spread over 4 years from the Flemish taxpayer.

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