True Copy

  • Bart Baele, Yves Degryse
  • Belgium, Netherlands
  • 2018
  • 80 min
  • IDFA on Stage

Deception is an art form. That's the message of this multimedia performance about and starring Geert Jan Jansen, the master forger. When he was arrested in France in 1994, his house contained 1,600 copies of artworks by the likes of Karel Appel and Pablo Picasso. Jansen managed to fool the art world for more than 20 years, and in True Copy he gets his chance to speak. Live on stage, the ingenious set design takes the audience right into the forger’s studio.

As part of the play, theater company BERLIN created an act surrounding a pastel drawing by Picasso, which was one of seven artworks stolen in a major art heist from Kunsthal Rotterdam in 2012. In an anonymous letter several people were tipped off on the location of the drawing in a Romanian forest. Jansen’s work, like BERLIN’s intervention and the play itself, raises questions about what's real and what's fake. Sometimes it’s nicer to be deceived than to know the truth.

IDFA on Stage: True Copy is a co-presentation of IDFA and Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond.


  • 80 min
  • color
  • Spoken languages: Dutch
  • Subtitles in: English
Bart Baele, Yves Degryse
Berlin, Het Zuidelijk Toneel
deSingel, le Centquatre-Paris, Brighton Festival, C-Takt, Theaterfestival Boulevard, PACT Zollverein
Geert de Vleesschauwer, Jessica Ridderhof, Dirk Bosmans
Geert de Vleesschauwer, Fien Leysen

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