In France I always practiced two professions side-by-side, one as an maker of documentary videos for art and corporate communications, the other as an artist (photography, sculpture and drawing). In the mid-1990s, after moving with my family to Switzerland, I sought to express myself in the medium that seemed to suit me best, so I stopped making commissioned films in order to devote all my time to my artistic work. In response to questions about my past life I started – with perseverance – to model small heads in terra cotta in an endeavour to become better acquainted with myself or just to capture a moment of life. This was not to imprison or subjugate this instant but to cherish it in the palm of my hand out of love and survival instinct. The heads are not portraits of men and women but friendly companions, protective talismans, amiable presences in a world that sometimes slips from our grasp. To date, I have crafted over a thousand heads, no larger than an egg. This infinite ensemble of heads is a way of saying Yes to the world, to all living beings, to the fate imparted to everyone to consent to the immense mystery of existence beyond all ugliness and beauty, injustice and chance. These little heads have become the central nucleus of my work.

I reproduce them in different materials such as bronze, glass or silicon, and assemble large numbers of them in installations of varying dimensions. I stage them inside small boxes, as though one were called upon to suspend time by enclosing it among commonplace objects within a sealed, protected and surreal environment. Occasionally the little heads also appear in my drawings. I cover the paper with interior necessity, day after day and as an automatic reflex, similar to how others write their journals. I fathom my own identity, my strength, my fears and my vulnerability without volition, as an automatic response, often in mockery at the world around us.

Berlin, November 2019


Patricia Dreyfus, Born in Dakar, Senegal, 1951

1982 - 1984

Apprenticeship at studio Gregory Mazurovsky, Centre Américain and Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris

1972 - 1992

Documentary film in the range of art, music and economy

1992 - 2012

Lives and works as an artist in Basel

Since 2012

Lives and works in Berlin

Solo exhibitions (selection)


lettre à moi-même #3, Kunstverein Wolfenbüttel - DE


lettre à moi-même #2, Galerie Albrecht, Berlin - DE


lettre à moi-même #1, Galerie Mesmer, Basel - CH


HumanKapital, Häuser und Asche, Kunstverein Ebersberg, DE


Weggefährten, Kunstverein Ottobrunn, DE


Insomnia, Kunsthaus Norden, DE


Insomnia, M54, Basel, CH


Traces/Spuren, Karmeliterkirche, Wiener Neustadt, AT


War Memories Reinvented, QCC Gallery, New York, USA

Group exhibitions (selection)


AUSBLICKE, Galerie Albrecht, Berlin DE


Das kleine Format, Atelierhof-Kreuzberg, Berlin, DE


Kölner Liste , Cologne, DE


Wer bist du?, Museum Schwarzenberg, DE


Umspann ZENTRALE, Galerie G11, Berlin, DE


Kauf mich, Schwartzsche Villa Galerie, Berlin, DE


Remise en Jeu, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, FR


Regionale, Fabrik culture, Hégenheim, FR


Regionale, Kunsthalle, Basel, CH

Art and documentary film

« Aux sources du monde arabe », 1989, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

« La rencontre au sommet » 1987, Award for Best Documentary Film, Biarritz Film Festival in France

« L’homme réparé », 1986, Centre de la Villette, Paris

« Roberto Matta »,1984

« Les Iles flottantes de Boris Tissot », 1983, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

« Le rêve d’Aurélie », 1983

« La Vie et l’Oeuvre de Shirley Goldfarb », 1982, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris and Musée de Pontoise



Die imaginäre Insel (Schulz und Schulz)


Insomnia (Benteli)


Obstinate Creation (Linsenmann AG)


Signes de têtes / Headsign (Mendiboure)