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)

2012

HumanKapital, Häuser und Asche, Kunstverein Ebersberg, DE

2012

Weggefährten, Kunstverein Ottobrunn, DE

2012

Insomnia, Kunsthaus Norden, DE

2011

Insomnia, M54, Basel, CH

2010

Traces/Spuren, Karmeliterkirche, Wiener Neustadt, AT

2009

War Memories Reinvented, QCC Gallery, New York, USA


Group exhibitions (selection)

2018

Das kleine Format, Atelierhof-Kreuzberg, Berlin, DE

2017

Berliner Liste / the discovery art fair, Berlin DE

2016

Kölner Liste , Cologne, DE

2015

Berliner Liste/ the discovery art fair, Berlin, DE

2013

Wer bist du?, Museum Schwarzenberg, DE

2013

Umspann ZENTRALE, Galerie G11, Berlin, DE

2013

Kauf mich, Schwartzsche Villa Galerie, Berlin, DE

2011

Remise en Jeu, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, FR

2010

Regionale, Fabrik culture, Hégenheim, FR

2009

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


Bibliographie

2017

Die imaginäre Insel (Schulz und Schulz)

2011

Insomnia (Benteli)

2004

Obstinate Creation (Linsenmann AG)

1996

Signes de têtes / Headsign (Mendiboure)