Art Colette’s Sleep Returns to Art Basel

Colette’s Sleep Returns to Art Basel

Anna Frattini

ust hours before the closing of Art Basel, we want to tell the story of one of the most interesting artworks at the fair, Recently Discovered Ruins of a Dream by Colette Lumiere, the Tunisian artist presented by Company. Cajsa von Zeipel participated into the production, capturing the artist’s face in one of her sculptures, transforming it.

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Un post condiviso da Art Basel (@artbasel)

It is 1977 when Colette sleeps in the Banco Gallery booth at Art Basel. It is a reflection on art and dreams, following years of performances that could last for days. On these occasions, the artist reflected on the history of art by reclaiming the image of the sleeping female body, too often passively represented as an object of desire. Now, almost 50 years later, Cajsa von Zeipel’s expertise comes into play, rejuvenating the appearance of the Tunisian artist and contributing to the creation of one of the most interesting installations at the entire fair. After all, Colette is a legend—an artist who has moved between performance art, installations, staged photography, and painting since the 1970s. With her unapologetic eroticism and assertive femininity, these characteristics have disrupted feminist politics. But Colette has also always stood out in the New York art scene for the blurred boundary between her life and art, the creation of her own personal mythology, and the use of herself at the center of her art.

But who is Cajsa von Zeipel? And how does her work relate to Colette’s? Cajsa—also known as @futuristiclesbian on Instagram—is a Swedish artist who, like Colette, reflects on the theme of identity associated with gender and queerness. Her sci-fi and fantasy scenarios made of silicone hide details that speak of the future generation, featuring Yeezy shoes, vibrators, cheap clothing, and much more. This all results in a sex-positive provocation with characters celebrating the dimensions they have constructed for themselves.

This is not the first time these two artists have worked together for Colette’s installations. It also happened last year when Cajsa recreated another mold of Colette for Living Environment, an exhibition at Company Gallery that brought the homonymous work back to life. It was one of Colette’s most famous works, which transformed her loft in New York into a true work of art. The meeting of Colette and Cajsa is not only intergenerational but also brings together two artists who continue to work on similar themes, each with their own interpretation.

Ph. courtesy Company Gallery & the artists

Written by Anna Frattini
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