The project was originally introduced as a collection of material created by and relating to a 1970s German glam rock band, whose memorabilia were notably featured in the Beck's Futures exhibition in 2006, and which deceived Sunday Times cultural commentator Waldemar Januszczak into running an article describing their claimed activities in giving away free copies of their music to fans. Januszczak went so far as to tip the collection for the Beck's Futures prize.
The exhibit was eventually runner up for the prize after Lustfaust were revealed as a fabrication, set within a combination of fictional and actual histories. Shovlin had previously gained notoriety by setting up an exhibition of art that was claimed to have been produced by a 13-year-old missing schoolgirl called Naomi V. Jelish.
The work has been praised for the depth of its deception — the artists set up fake web sites about the band and added it to Wikipedia, assembled photographs and chronologies for their tours, recorded an interview with the band's "German-Belgian frontman", and even recorded excerpts of music which were attributed to them. The deception was so deep that some viewers actually boasted of having seen the band live. This was in spite of deliberate clues which had been included in the exhibition, such as notes describing the band as veering "dangerously close to Spinal Tap-isms" and "an obscurantist's dream".
One person who guessed at the exhibition's nature was The Times art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston. Four days before Januszczak's piece was published, she praised the collection, but cautioned "Don’t be surprised if the entire band is a fabrication — down to its references on internet sites."
In 2007, Lustfaust began to perform live shows across Europe in numerous cities. Featuring a loose and revolving collection of musicians, by 2011 they had performed at a broad range of venues including the Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Museo Madre Napoli, Teatro Eliseo Roma and The Big Chill Festival.
- Lister, David (2006-05-06). "You couldn't make it up - but they do". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Januszczak, Waldemar (2006-04-02). "Beck’s Futures". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- "Forging ahead". The Guardian. 2004-07-10. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Smith, Roberta (2006-07-21). "Art in Review; Lustfaust -- A Folk Anthology, 1976-1981". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Whitworth, Damian (2007-06-23). "Jamie Shovlin: A Dream Deferred at Haunch of Venison". The Times. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Jones, Alice (2006-05-01). "It's only mock 'n' roll but we like it". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Campbell Johnston, Rachel (2006-03-29). "Beck's Futures". The Times. Retrieved 2007-07-16.