Jan Fabre’s Jarring Marble Sculptures of Human Brains

by CaroPosted on

Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart? This is a question that Belgian multidisciplinary artist Jan Fabre has continually explored in recent sculptures. Fabre is perhaps best known for his “Bic-Art” series, after he famously locked himself inside of a white cube for three days and covered it with blue pen drawings. However, it is his massive sculptures of brains made of Carrara marble that are his most personal. He relates the human brain to the idea of a post-mortem phase of life, after experiencing a “milky tunnel” of white while in a coma. Those who come upon the series may encounter a jarring combination of horror and amusement. The series portrays brains pierced by sharp objects like scissors and cork screws, while others are crawling with insects or holding up giant bananas. Many of these pieces arose out of his conversations with prominent neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti. The brains even appear as an element of his gisants, marble replicas of corpses resting on tombs. Other notable works by Fabre include sculptures made of bronze and bugs, as in his “Heaven of Delight” installation built using the shining shells of 1.6 million beetles. Fabre’s Carrara sculptures are featured in his upcoming 30-year retrospective, spanning 7 rooms at Deweer Gallery in Belgium- and “Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart?” will be at the heart of the exhibit.

Jan Fabr’s “30 Years/7 Rooms” opens on November 1st at Deweer Gallery in Belgium, and will be on view from November 4th through December 20th, 2015.