An analytic and subdued critical summary of the work of Jan Fabre, on the occasion of the opening night of the opera Das Glas im Kopf wird vom Glas in March 1990. The topoi and motives in his work are commented on by Annie Declerck and accompanied by images from his body of work, from MoneyPerformance (1979) to Das Interview das Stirbt (1989). His work always starts from the same gestures, always repeating the same motives. The repetition in all its variants is the main composition principle, used as deconstructing and deconstructive movement, but also purposing to liberate that movement. Fabre always uses the same truth against art, theatre and culture: the physical is the ultimate, the only reality. He brings on the power of theatrical madness, deconstructs the classic notions about art and shields it off, leaving the figure of the classic artist intact. Art as theatre. He stops himself and the world, as the stage of squirming “petites machines vivantes”, in sterile jars and screen windows, in the peep-show of theatre. In essence, his work is a succession of theatrical images, perpetually constructed and deconstructed. It is an enigma, which lasts until the question of meaning is formulated.

Original broadcast date: 15/03/1990

00’00" On March 7th, 1990, Flemish Opera’s premiere of Das Glas im Kopf wird vom Glas by Jan Fabre (libretto and stage production) with music by Eugenius Knapik. This film is a variation on the seven "topoi"/motifs of Fabre’s work. Pictures of Jan Fabre’s works, photographic documents and extracts from films showing his activities in theatre and film and as a performer : Money Performance (1979), Will Doctor Fabre cure you ? (1980), The Rea(dy) make of the Performance "Money" (1980),  Ilad of the Bic-Art (1980), After Art (1980), Sea-Salt of the Fields (1980), American Works and Window Performance (1980), Ilad of the Bic-Art. The Bic-Art Room (1981), Art as a Gamble, Gamble as an Art (1981), Hé wat een plezierige zottigheid (1988), Theater geschreven met een "K" is een kater (1980), Het is theater zoals te verwachten en te voorzien was (1982), Een theatervoorstelling omtrent acteren waarin enkele personen verenigd zijn die mogelijk het acteren in twijfel trekken (1983), De macht der theaterlijke dwaasheden (1984), Das Glas im Kopf wird vom Glas, de danssecties (1987), Prometheus-Landschaft (1988), Das Interview das Stirbt (1989). Commentary by Annie Declerck. 82’34"
(Source: Jef Cornelis 1964 - 1990, Espace Art Contemporain : Maison de la culture et de la Communication de Saint-Etienne, 1991)