Fabrice Gygiartist sheet 19/78




His work includes both sculptures/installations dealing with social or political issues and engravings focusing on more intimate themes. His performances often focus on the relationship between his body and objects.

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

Always upright (1995, 44'15'')

Always Upright was performed at the Kaskadenkondensator in Basel. Gygi walks across the room and as he does so is guided by two parallel strings that are threaded through his earlobes and generate a bewildering noise.

A Gentleman's Agreement (2002, 6'31'')

In 2002 Gygi executes the performance A Gentleman's Agreement during the Cetinije biennale in Montenegro, while setting fire to a small metal house that is secured on the back of his hand.

Monopoly Spirit Reactor (2012-2013, 8'09'')

In 2012, at the Francesca Pia gallery in Zurich and the Centre d'art Les Eglises in Chelles, Gygi presents Monopoly Spirit Reactor, a ritual during which he hides his head under a spherical object.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.2015










Body and soul

Artist Fabrice Gygi throws himself body and soul into his performances. ...

Artist Fabrice Gygi throws himself body and soul into his performances.

From the start, Genevan artist Fabrice Gygi has involved his own body in the creative process, making it interact with the artworks he creates: sculptures, performance pieces, engravings, pieces of jewellery, or paintings. His film work mainly involves recording performances featuring props he makes himself: half sculptures, half prosthetics. He uses the notion of cœrcion to create dangerous situations that allow him to explore the complex relationships between authority and rebellion and between submission and subversion. Gygi includes symbols of state control over individuals in his installations, and uses more personal self-imposed physical restraints in his performances.

From Authority Finger (1994), where Gygi wore a bronze finger into which he poured boiling liquid prepared in front of the audience, to Monopolis/Spirit Reactor (2012-2013), where he covered his head with a skin-tight latex hood, the artist abuses his own body and, via a process of empathy, creates a sense of cenaesthesia (own-body awareness) in the viewer. Two metal wires stretched across the exhibition space passed through his pierced ears and acted as electro-acoustic instruments in Always Upright (1995). Whip Fight Demonstration (2008) takes the form of a fight using metal-tipped whips, more to enhance the sound they make on the floor than to increase their potential for harm.


Denis Pernet