Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

I Am a Mistake

Jan Fabre has invited the German composer Wolfgang Rihm to join him for the creation of I am a mistake. The basis for this creation is an original text by Jan Fabre, entitled I am a Mistake. It is a manifest that amounts almost to a profession of faith by the artist. The blunt confession I am a mistake is like a mantra that repeats and divides; the voice in this text weaves his web of confessions and meanings, sometimes as a metaphor of an artist sometimes in a protesting tone.

Protest against reality and its laws, against matters of fact and their conformism. It comes as no surprise that this piece is dedicated to the subversive film-maker (and amateur entomologist) Luis Buñuel and to Antonin Artaud.

I am loyal to the pleasure that is trying to kill me

'I am a mistake because I shape my life and work organically in accordance with my own judgement with no concern for what one ought to do or say', this is the artist's frank summary of his world view. And the 'first person' knows that there is a price to be paid for this: that of gradual self-destruction. This urge for self-affirmation and disregard for man-made and natural laws is made very clear by the repeated and incorrigible smoking o stage and the open praise of the cigarette, despite its harmful effects being known, 'I am loyal to the pleasure that is trying to kill me'. After a lyrical and delirious monologue this is a certain end, because 'I am immortal'.

Wolfgang Rihm created a composition for a 'music-infected actor who can sing-speak the words in the context of my music' This exceptional collaboration should result in a multidisciplinary performance in which film images, live-music (by the 15 members of the Ensemble Recherche), words, song and dance scenes complement and enhance one another.

Chantal Akerman is filmed on location with a number of Jan Fabre's dancers and actors.  


text, scenography and direction Jan Fabre
choreography Jan Fabre and the dancers
film Chantal Akerman
musical composition Wolfgang Rihm
assistant to Jan Fabre & dramaturgy Miet Martens performers:
speaking voice  Hilde Van Mieghem
dancers Sylvia Camarda, Manon Avermaete, Eleonora Mercatali, Tawny Andersen live music: Ensemble Recherche Martin Fahlenbock (flute), Jaime Gonzalez (oboe), Shizuyo Oka (clarinet), Melise Mellinger (violin), Barbara Maurer (viola), Asa Akerberg (cello), Christian Dierstein (percussion), Klaus Steffes-Holländer (piano), Jean-Pierre Collot (piano) Guests  Markus Schwind (trumpet), Andrew Digby (trombone), Laszlo Hudacsek (percussion), Beate Anton (harp), Ulrich Schneider (double bass)
singers Matthias Horn, Johannes M. Kösters
conductor Lucas Vis
producer Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE)
technical coordination Geert Van der Auwera
technician  Jeroen Van Esbroeck
production manager Helga Van den Bossche  
stagiaire Elodie Sicard (dancer)
Management Ensemble Recherche Tanja Ratzke, Beate Rieker, Dr. Sabine Franz
guest transportmanager Peter Härringer
film direction Chantal Akerman
image Raymond Fromont
assistant to Raymond Fromont Leslie Vandermeulen
editing Claire Atherton
make up Gerda Van Hoof
colour correction Isabelle Laclau
executive production Paradise Films, Marilyn Watelet
production Chemah I.S t
echnical equipment
Sylicone (Paris, FR), Vidi-Square ( Zandhoven, BE)
additional film performers Ann Eysermans, Beatrice Kessi, Elodie Sicard, Ivana Jozic, Lie Anthonissen, Lisbeth Gruwez
commissioned and produced by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) production Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE) & Bozar Music (Brussels, BE)
co-production Bozar Theatre (Brussels, BE)
support Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung | European Commission
sponsor Het Concertgebouw  (Amsterdam, NL)
Hilde Van Mieghem is dressed by AF Vandevorst 
shoes by Biography
all dancers are dressed by Just in Case the film was shot on location in Antwerp. Troubleyn/Jan Fabre would like to thank St-Willibrordus church, Eddy Borry of café De Kroon, restaurant De Druiventros, grocery ‘De Bakkerij’. Eleonora Mercatali is supported by GAI (Giovani Artisti Italiani, IT) the text of Ik ben een fout,  theaterscripts & theaterteksten (1975-2004), Jan Fabre was published by Meulenhoff/Manteau, 2004 and by L’Arche in 2005 Je Suis une erreur – Cinq pieces, Jan Fabre.

première 29.11.2007, Athens Concert Hall, Athens