image source: edition fink


85 illustrations, 70 in colour, thread stitching, brochure with dust jacket

Publisher Note

The Solothurn Art Museum dedicates a major solo exhibition to Silvie Defraoui, who has gained international recognition as a pioneer of video art. In addition to works presented for the first time, there will be a reencounter of well-known masterpieces: the enchanting video installation “Bruits de surface” (1995) or the oppressive video “Aphrodite Ping Pong” (2005). They show the spectrum of the visual world between private memory and global turmoil, between a oppressive beauty and inescapable fate.
The present publication follows the path that Silvie Defraoui has laid out for the exhibition. Starting from the artistic terrazza floors, the artist directs the eye to the ground, which she covers with self-adhesive forms. A path opens up between them, leading to a low metal construction (“Nacht und Tag und Nacht”, 2000), which must be climbed over or walked around by the public. The pedestal-like object not only provides a view of the spread of the forms like a garden; the ground plan of the symmetrical metal construction is reminiscent of the beds and canals of an oriental garden. The flower motifs of the latest photographic works (“Faits et Gestes”, 2014) take up this theme in the following room: Close-up views of the most sensual flowers are combined with press photos of (natural) catastrophes. In addition to images of ephemeral floral splendour with which the old vanitas motif is taken up, text as a means of communication and graphic form is one of the exhibition’s leitmotifs. In painted language images (2000 and 2014), the beauty of writing and the formal rhythm of poems become visible.
In the multi-part photographic work “Grille de Lecture” (2013/2014), letters and images are related to each other in a grid in order to emphasize the everyday connection between seeing and reading.
Part of the exhibition’s appeal is the constant change of perspectives, which allows the gaze to wander between wall and floor, making the passage through the course an incredibly rich, sometimes dreamlike journey. The presentation of the videos thus offers a wide variety of projection forms that are always adapted to the content of the works: vertically on the floor, frontally on the wall, or on a screen hanging in the room – as in the video loop “Résonances et courants d'air” (2009), which runs in the last room. The narrative effect of the work with its ritual repetitions is underscored by the sound of excerpts from the “Tales of 1001 Nights”. And thus the arch is closed to the “oriental garden” of the first hall.

Exhibition Catalogue

Und überdies Projektionen (Archives du futur)

Silvie Defraoui

edited by Christoph Vögele, Kunstmuseum Solothurn

Release Place Zurich, Switzerland
Release Date 2014
Artist: Silvie Defraoui
Printrun 850
ISBN-13: 978-3-03746-181-5
Dimensions 24.5 × 19.0 cm
Pages 96
Technique Offset Printing