Since starting out as an artist, Sylvie Fleury (Switzerland, 1961) has been creating
objects, installations and performances. For her first exhibition at MBAL, the
Geneva-based artist presents 8, an installation made up of a fiberglass and steel
space capsule in which visitors can sit, surrounded by black velvet and rhinestones,
in a space decorated with thousands of crystals, as well as lights, speakers and an
essential oil diffuser. Only one person at a time is admitted to the 8 capsule, whose
name refers to the symbol of infinity. Once it is closed, the visitor is immersed in a
meditative experience within a glittering galaxy, to the soundtrack of the science
fiction film Queen of Outer Space, (Edward Bernds, 1958) starring, among others, Zsa
Zsa Gabor. In this film, femmes fatales in high heels and push-up bras rule the planet
Venus, from which men are banned.
By using feminine colours and materials to create her space capsule, an object
traditionally associated with men, the artist offers a humorous take on space and
fashion. Her vision of female consumerism and hedonism, reflected in this work from
2000, reminds us of the artist’s earlier series focusing on a fantasy vision of a space
conquest by women. A prolific and multifaceted artist, Sylvie Fleury introduces into
her work formal elements from Minimalism and Pop Art, from which she takes the
most striking elements to then provide her female version of them. The Geneva-based
sculptor focuses on the stereotypes relating to the differences between genders and
confronts them with the corresponding clichés. One of the specificities of her work
lies in the various customisation processes she uses, adapting the history of art to
the latest fashion trends. More recently, her interest in the supernatural has led her
to design pieces related to spirituality, Zen and meditation. Her work 8 is a foray into
a fantasy cosmos inspired by American science fiction.
For almost 30 years, Sylvie Fleury has exhibited regularly in Switzerland, France,
Germany and the United States. A major retrospective was devoted to her work
at Mamco in Geneva in 2009. She received the Grand Prix Suisse d’Art/Prix Meret
Oppenheim in 2018.
Sylvie Fleury’s work is now part of the MBAL collection after a long-term loan from
a private collection in Geneva.