How do you deal with the works of Jan Fabre, who raised his way of life across borders to art and until recently – also received applause for him? On the roof of the SMAK Museum in Ghent is a statue of Faber. According to director Philippe van Cotteren, it’s a good idea to leave her alone: ”If you take her away, there’s nothing left but empty space and the conversation is silenced.” †Removing Faber’s “huge” work is not easy, 5/19). From Van Cauteren’s point of view, there seem to be only two options: space for Fabre, or emptiness. But there is a third option. There are countless artists who have not been given such a prominent place in public, because of their skin colour, gender, orientation or lack of ego. Faber could easily stand in a room with other abusers of power without remorse; With historical heroes who made us think differently. No need to hide or get rid of anything, we can talk about all kinds of miscreants for a long time to come. But it’s really time to highlight the other artists. There are plenty of other works worth seeing.
A version of this article also appeared in The May 20, 2022 newspaper
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