Art kept me out of jail (Homage to Jacques Mesrine)

Jan Fabre


Performance, 04:00:00.

Paris, Musée du Louvre, Galerie Daru & Cour Napoléon

In this performance, running for four hours Fabre transforms himself in the diverse disguises of Jacques Mesrine, French enemy of the state number one. He tries to escape from the institute Louvre, where a big Fabre exhibition is running. He quotes the gangster and will eventually die, like Mesrine, in a hail of bullets. 


'Two o'clock in the morning.
Alone in my hotel room again.
I need that.
Sometimes I give too much to the outside world.
I'm physically shattered.
My brain is aflame and inside my skull it's
much too warm.
It was a hellish but exciting five-hour journey.
My performance 'Homage to Jacques Mesrine'
in the 70m-long Galerie Daru in the Louvre.
But what a kick (my whole body was quivering)
to be riddled with bullets at the end of the
performance (the same number of bullets
with which Jacques Mesrine was murdered
by the French police in the centre of Paris)
at the feet of the goddess Nike.
(And yet I escaped and got out alive from the finest
and best secured prison in France, the Louvre.)
Tomorrow I can go home.
To my free zone, Antwerp.
And sleep, that will be for tomorrow.'

(Jan Fabre, Paris, 22 April 2008)


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