Unique backstage look at one of the world's best art forgers
On May, 6 1994 the gendarmes burst into the French country estate of Geert Jan Jansen. They come across more than 1600 works by great masters such as Dali, Matisse and Hockney. Remarkable detail : the majority of them comes out of the brush of the Dutchman. Jansen succeeds in taking the art world for a ride for more than twenty years, in such a convincing way that Picasso and Appel unsuspectingly write out certificates of authenticity for work he has made. 'I am not a fraud, I am a helper', says Jansen himself. 'I think I have taken quite a bit of work out of their hands.'
Until today in museums world-wide there are still four paintings of which nobody suspects that they are Jansen's work. A spelling mistake in a certificate that he writes out for a work 'in the style of' Chagall eventually after many years finishes him off. He is arrested and thus suddenly changes into one of the most famous frauds within the art world.
After BERLIN's Perhaps all the dragons..., in which Jansen turns up as a story teller, he himself is now at the centre of True Copy. Jansen's work and life is a daily balancing exercise on the thin line between fiction and reality. By means of its internal machinery, BERLIN a.o. tries to reveal the hypocrisy within the world of art. What is the actual value of truth ? Isn't it more refreshing to be able to go along in an brillianty shaped lie ?
The Antwerp theatre collective BERLIN, which won the Flemish Culture Prize for the Performing Arts in 2015, distinguishes itself by its documentary and interdisciplinary theatre form. In this new part within the Horror Vacui series,of which Land's End and Tagfish were to be seen at NEXT, BERLIN makes different worlds, art forms and realities flow together on stage. Together with its main character it lays its finger on the sore spots within the art world, but it also shows the universal story of one man who stands his ground within a web of lies – or variations of the truth.
“The only one who never gets recognition is the forger. Unless he is unmasked.” Geert Jan Jansen in Perhaps All The Dragons
* 27/11: Departure at 18h30 from Villeneuve d'Ascq
* 27/11: Departure at 19h15 from Kortrijk
CONCEPT Berlin (Bart Baele, Yves Degryse) / WITH Geert Jan Jansen / TECHNICAL COORDINATION Manu Siebens / VIDEO Geert De Vleesschauwer / PRODUCTION Celeste Driesen, Jane Seynaeve / COPRODUCTION C-TAKT (Limburg, BE), deSingel (Antwerpen, BE), Het Zuidelijk Toneel (Tilburg, NL), le CENTQUATRE (Parijs, FR), Brighton Festival (UK) / WITH THE SUPPORT OF the Belgian Taxshelter-measure, Government of Flanders, deSingel (Antwerpen, BE), CENTQUATRE (Parijs, FR).
Duration: 75 min
Location: Ieper - Het Perron