ANTICIPATING PREMIERING IN FALL 2019
JAN FABRE / MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV
an art installation with film
Conceived, written and directed by Jan Fabre.
Performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov
Film by Jan Fabre and Phil Griffin
For the past four years, iconic Belgian artist Jan Fabre and legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov have worked together on their first collaboration.
Of Mr. Baryshnikov, Jan Fabre says: “I first met him in 2009. I was struck by his incredible hypnotic blue eyes and his gentle personality. Before we met, I had seen Mr. Baryshnikov dance in many documentaries, and I saw a dancer who is more than just a dancer. I saw a contemporary performer who gave spiritual weight and meaning to movement, and by that reason content. Years went by, and I was lucky to see Mr. Baryshnikov perform live in Manchester. I thought immediately that my theatre text NOT ONCE. would be something for him because I saw a performer in action that embodies the ancient idea of metamorphosing and transforming into something else. We had great days working together in Antwerp. Mr. Baryshnikov is a stubborn and very detailed artist. Exactly what I like”.
Based on a monologue written by Jan Fabre, NOT ONCE. unveils - through 11 imaginary rooms of a photographic exhibition - the platonic relationship between the subject and a female photographer who, for years, has manipulated his body and reworked it into different entities. The multimedia work is conceived for film video and performance and explores the relation between an artist, his work and life, his public, and ultimately, the balance between giving and taking - between dependency and independency.
Mr. Baryshnikov says of the collaboration: "I've lived a long life, but never thought that one day I would be part of a museum installation. It's a first for me. I've known Jan Fabre as a visual artist for many years, and have been acquainted with his work. When I visited Troubleyn Laboratorium in Antwerp I was surprised and flattered when Jan proposed this project. He told me he had a challenging text in mind, which intrigued me - why this text, and why me? I now think he can answer that question better than I can, but working with him has been an intense and fascinating experience. He works like a painter, throwing ideas in, trying things, fearless experimentation. I've never worked like that before. I hope that Jan got the canvas he wanted."
Conceived and designed as an art installation with film, this new creation will be presented to museum and theatre audiences worldwide in 2019.
Conceived, Written and directed by Jan Fabre
Performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov
Film by Jan Fabre & Phil Griffin
Music and Sound Design by Stef Kamil Carlens
Dramaturgy Miet Martens
2nd Unit Director & Editor Giulio Boato
Post Production & Grading Tom Aston
Voice recordings Lorenzo Danesin
Foley Stef Kamil Carlens & Lorenzo Danesin
Mastering voice and music Gilles Martin
A project by Angelos (Antwerp,BE), Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE), Baryshnikov Productions (New York, US)
Executive Producer EdM Productions
Jan Fabre (Antwerp, 1958) is considered one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his days. Over the past 30 years, he has produced works as a visual artist, theatre maker and author. In the late 1970s, the young Jan Fabre caused a sensation as a performance artist. In 1982, the work This is theatre like it was to be expected and foreseen and two years later The power of theatrical madness challenged the foundations of the European theatre establishment. Chaos and discipline, repetition and madness, metamorphosis and the anonymous are indispensable ingredients in Fabre’s theatre. The body in all its forms has always been a central object of his research.Productions such as Je suis sang, Angel of Death, Quando l’uomo principale è una donna, Orgy of Tolerance, Preparatio Mortis and Prometheus-Landscape II have earned Fabre international acclaim. In 2005, Jan Fabre was artiste associé of the Festival d’Avignon. He then created Histoire des Larmes for the cour d’honneur, where he had already performed Je suis sang in 2001 and a retake of Je suis sang in 2005. In 2007, Jan Fabre created Requiem für eine Metamorphose for the Felsenreitschule of Salzburg. His latest performances, the impressive Mount Olympus. To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy. A 24-hour performance and Belgian Rules/Belgium Rules are still touring internationally. As an author, he has written several theatre texts that were translated worldwide, including We need heroes now, Another sleepy dusty delta day, I am a mistake, A tribe that's me, the King of Plagiarism, Etant donnés... For Mount Olympus he wrote several texts about sleep and dreams: Remnants.
Over the years, Jan Fabre has also built up an exceptional oeuvre as a visual artist. He has become well known to a wide audience with the Tivoli castle (1990), Heaven of Delight (2002), in which the ceiling of the Mirror Room at the Royal Palace in Brussels is drawn with jewel beetle wing-shields, his open-air sculptures, including The man who measures the clouds (1998), Searching for Utopia (2003) and Totem (2000-2004). Among recent much-discussed exhibitions we can mention: L’ange de la métamorphose (Louvre, Paris 2008), From the Cellar to the Attic - From the Feet to the Brain (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2008; Venice Biennale, 2009), The Hour Blue (Kunsthistorische Museum Vienna, 2011), Hortus/Corpus (Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo, 2011), Pietas (Venice Biennale, 2011) and Stigmata. Actions and Performances 1976 – 2013 (MAXXI, Rome, 2013 and M HKA, Antwerp, 2015). Jan Fabre was the first living artist to present his work at the Louvre, Paris (L’Ange de la metamorphose, 2008). He was invited by the State Hermitage Museum in St-Petersburg to create a large-scale exhibition in 2016.
Born 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time. After commencing a spectacular career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he came to the West in 1974, settling in New York City as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1978 he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990-2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, which he and choreographer Mark Morris co-founded to expand the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance. As an actor he has performed widely on- and off-Broadway, as well as in television and film, receiving a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award for Metamorphosis, and an Academy Award nomination for The Turning Point. Other theatrical productions include Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient, Beckett Shorts, In Paris, Man in a Case, The Old Woman and Letter to a Man. He is currently touring Brodsky/Baryshnikov, directed by Alvis Hermanis. In 2005, he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City, a creative space designed to support multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. Among Mr. Baryshnikov’s many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the Vilcek Award. In 2010, he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 he received Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in Theatre/Film.