Jacques Lizène

° 1946

Born in Liège (BE), lives in Liège (BE), born in Antwerp (BE), based in Antwerp (BE).

 Jacques Lizène (°1946, Ougrée, België) is one of the most productive members of the Liège artists’ collective CAP (Cercle d’Art Prospectif, ‘Circle of Prospective Art’), which also included Pierre Courtois, Jacques Lennep, Jacques-Louis Nyst and Jean-Pierre Ransonnet. In 1972–1982 they developed a considerable body of work that we would now call ‘relational’. Their outlook was reminiscent of the Fluxus movement, although Lizène characterises his own work as ‘Non-Fluxus’. Fluxus embraces life, but Lizène claims to be working against it, and does not hesitate to use his own person to prove this, having had a vasectomy performed at an early age.

Lizène sees his works as products put out by a virtual Institut de l’Art Stupide. They are ‘easy’, ‘unimportant’, even ‘ridiculous’. He rebels against many things, but especially against the values and attitudes of the elite art world. He wants all its institutions to suffer the agony of ridicule: the museum, the gallery and not least the artist. Lizène makes fun of all ‘serious’ aesthetic discourse that is in fact nothing but pretentious empty speech. That is why he presents itself as ‘a minor master from Liège from the second half of the 20th century’. Yet it is precisely this self-deprecation that brings Lizène the attention of the institutions against which he rebels.

Ultimately, the ‘fool’ Lizène belongs to the art world he ridicules, and he is well aware of this. The paradox of subversion – that any system can only be undermined from within – underpins his whole practice.

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