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|Birth name||Jan Tamrat|
|Born||27 January 1925
|Died||28 January 2013 (aged 88)
|Field||Writing, poetry, art books, installation art|
|Works||Part of the Plan|
Libby Sacer also Libby Saker or Liberty Sacer born Jan Tamrat (1925–2013) was born in Ethiopia in 1925. Her father, a Jewish Ethiopian, named Tariku Tamrat, in the archives of his community (Beta Israel) was mentioned as a labourer and craftsman but was fluent in more than 20 local dialects and sometimes worked as an interpreter. He died in an accident when his only child was five years old; this had a major impact on Sacer. Her Danish mother Tania, from a family of landowners active in Ethiopia and other countries, was the author of romantic novels and travel books, which she signed with pseudonyms. Because of her mother's occupation, Libby travelled around the world from an early age and received an excellent education.
LifeSacer chose her name when she turned 25. In her writing she leaves hints about her sex that led to speculation that she was a hermaphrodite or a transgendered person. Both her existence and her influence in various movements of art and philosophy were unknown until her death in London in 2013, at age 88.
As she never had children, after her death, her will stated that all her property would be handed to the British artist and activist R.H., whom she had never met before.
The heir, recognising the importance of the artefacts found in her house, hired a group of specialists to analyse and classify the findings. A series of discoveries concerning contemporary art and philosophy have started since.
At Sacer's house in London, among other findings, there were important works of art by Klossowski, Claude Cahun, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marcel Broodthaers and others. These works were thought to have been lost or were unknown.
There was also personal correspondence with over 20 prominent personalities of the last century from the fields of philosophy, politics and art, and rarities such as African ritual vessels and masks, stuffed animals, thousands of books, videotapes, audio cassettes and reels, a huge collection of male and female fancy dresses and accessories, and a series of personal objects that belonged to Albert Camus, Michel Foucault, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Guy Debord, Jack Smith, Hannah Arendt, Louis Althusser and others, meticulously archived. Notes and books by her were also found as well as recordings made by her; as it seems this material circulated exclusively from hand to hand. Some titles of those works are: "Meta-fetishism" After – fetishism, "Part of the Plan" Part of the Plan, "Alluring dominance" Fetching sovereignty, "What is to be un-done" What should be un- done, "City Spine" Urban spine], "The Method" Method.
A few of her letters sent to key figures had been returned unread. The mass of the findings indicates her crucial role in several artistic, philosophical and political movements of a period covering more than half a century.
Sacer has been present in a series of major events of the last century. A crucial moment in her lifetime was 1938 when she left Berlin, after burning all her belongings to erase any tracks of her past. While the available biographical data is still incomplete, much of her life has been mapped out, apart from the 1960s a decade which remains a mystery until now. According to some evidence, during this period, her mother died and Libby S. retired to a deserted area near her birthplace, close to the border of Ethiopia and Eritrea. According to floor plans that have been found, the house where she lived was designed by the artist and architect Constant Nieuwenhuys as a sample building of the utopian city of New Babylon. There, along with another unknown woman (photos of which have been found), they gave theatrical performances without an audience (viewers were painted on the walls), composed and played music and made artistic projects without recipients. In 1968, however, she re-located to Paris, where she participated in street battles, recorded events and suffered an injury on her left leg.
Years later she travelled to Athens, Greece, where she was photographed with Jean Genet in a city-central pastry shop.
While her source of income remains mainly unknown, probably part of it came from essays and articles published over the years with aliases, following her mothers footsteps, and possibly a share of her mothers property. How and to what extent Libby Sacer influenced modern thought and art, is still to be investigated by professionals commissioned by her heir.