In 1994, the French police stormed Geert Jan Jansen’s estate and confiscated over 1600 forged works in the style of Picasso, Dalí, Appel and others. For over 20 years up to this point, Jansen had fooled the art world so much that Picasso and Appel themselves confirmed the authenticity of some of these works. But a trivial clerical error blew the lid off everything.

In «True Copy», Jansen unrolls his life story, and the Belgian collective BERLIN questions the value of authenticity. Why is it so important who painted a picture when it is beautiful either way? And who is ultimately to blame for this forgery scandal? The forger or the hypocritical art business that created the structure for this in the first place?

The tweaking of reality is a central component of BERLIN’s work. Thus, the staging of «True Copy» began even before the premiere: BERLIN faked the discovery of a previously lost Picasso drawing in November 2018. The international press was in a frenzy until the group solved the mystery after a few days and presented Jansen as the originator of the copy.

BERLIN was founded in 2003 by Yves Degryse, Bart Baele and Caroline Rochlitz in Antwerp. The group turns documentary material into multimedia performances in which the audience often can no longer distinguish between theatre and reality. In 2015, BERLIN was a guest at auawirleben with the video installation «Perhaps all the Dragons». In 2020, «True Copy», was invited but had to be cancelled. We are now enthusiastically re-inviting the piece.

Konzept, Regie: BERLIN (Bart Baele, Yves Degryse)
Mit: Geert Jan Jansen, Eveline Martens
Assistenz von Geert Jan Jansen: Luk Sponselee
Video: BERLIN, Geert De Vleesschauwer, Jessica Ridderhof, Dirk Bosmans
Schnitt: BERLIN, Geert De Vleesschauwer, Fien Leysen
Bühne: Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, BERLIN
Licht: Barbara De Wit
Technische Koordination: Manu Siebens, Geert De Vleesschauwer
Musik: Peter Van Laerhoven
Piano: Govaart Haché
Cello: Katelijn Van Kerckhoven
Live-Tonabmischung: Arnold Bastiaanse
Produktionsleitung: Celeste Driesen, Jessica Ridderhof
Management: Kurt Lannoye

Koproduktion: deSingel, LE CENTQUATRE, Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Brighton Festival, C-TAKT, Theaterfestival Boulevard, PACT Zollverein