Tuesday, December 22, 2015

my development involving the beetles

But for every person who has fallen asleep on his estate, another is willing to renovate it and bring it back into shape. As his own property, mind you, but what does that mean, except for that age-old and ever-present truth: that nature has made a pact with the mighty of this earth?

The Girl, from The Country Road, 1921, by Regina Ullman, tr. Kurt Beals

The shimmering ceiling at the Royal Palace is the apotheosis of my development involving the beetles. That is why I am currently conducting research on the body, that strange laboratory we wake up with every morning.

Jan Fabre, interviewed by Michael Amy in Conversations on Sculpture, 2007, ed Glenn Harper and Twylene Moyer


  1. "but all too often the tenants are poor, downtrodden people. They work up to deadlines, and appear and disappear like shadows." Regina Ullman, The Country Road, The Girl. the life evanescent leaves a shadow? i liked this story; it was sort of a manger tale with reversed gender. but, after thought, i still couldn't connect it with your second quote, except for the body as universe. or maybe that was it, he said as he stumbled into the unseen chasm...

    1. I went off the idea of an "estate": the body as an estate where you wake up every morning, and the beetles making their estate on the ceiling.

    2. (Are the living, then, the "mighty of this earth," because they have an estate and the dead don't; is Fabre the mighty of this earth because he was invited by Queen Paola of Belgium to cover parts of her palace ceiling with beetle wing-cases, establishing an estate, while the rest of the world's artists were not? Those were the thoughts that were banging around in my head.)

    3. i've had one book of fabre's since i was a wee one and read it numerous times; never knew about queen paola, tho...

  2. I'll link the post to the interview online. They've got pictures of the beetle-ceilings there.