Dear Mr. Minister of Culture,
In 2007, me and my colleague Sandi Pavlin participated in the performance ‘Requiem for metamorphosis’,which was produced in co-production, also with the theater ‘Mladinsko’ where we are regularly employed. Meanwhile Sandi Pavlin is retired.
Following the letter, published in autumn 2018, I was already asked by Slovenian media to give my opinion on these allegations against Mr. Fabre.
And the statement is as follows: As an actress employed by the institution, I rarely had the opportunity to participate in such an intense creative experience. The cooperation was really tiring, because my colleague and me moved to Belgium for 5 months, left our personal lives behind, entered a working process which demanded a complete physical and psychological dedication.
In 2007 I was 41 years old and my colleague Pavlin 63.
But such an effort would not have been possible if we wouldn’t become a part of an absolutely human atmosphere guided by Mr. Fabre. He made sure that everything was taken care of. In all-day exercises we received high-quality meals, Jan always stood at the end of the queue with his plate in his hands and gave priority to all other artist. He liked to joke, but his level was never vulgar or in any way incorrect. He was simply a big artist, dedicated to art and respectful to every dedicated artist.
I do not doubt that his radical artistic aesthetics did not suit anyone. I also do remember that some – especially younger – colleagues criticized Jan Fabre as too demanding and claimed that the body has its own boundaries. But right after they gave a better try and exceeded their boundaries, they usually changed to feel a respect and gratitude toward director.
I really have to admit that the collective atmosphere was excellent, that both Sandi and me felt great and were proud to witness a creation of something higher. From the first day Mr. Fabre knew every single name of about 30 performers. The process of making the piece ran through a selection phase of the artists where he kept a personal dialogue with each of us. They were transparent and sincere. Some people, admitted that the process was to demanding and stepped out of the project. And Mr. Fabre had an understanding and time for each of those artists.
It is easy to imagine that in the history of his work, he has offended somebody, and maybe the entire campaign of rage against Mr. Fabre is part of someone’s personal offense. Sadly. It reminds me of award-winning Danish film ‘The Hunt’.
It is very easy to compromise someone, especially if his name is related to the decay of taboos and establishment of different aesthetic criteria.
I sincerely thank you for your consideration about the story that got trickled around this great artist.
Yours sincerely,
Maruša Oblak M.A.