Vanessa Safavi

Download Press Selection

HERE

Vanessa Safavi (b. 1980, Lausanne, Switzerland) lives and works between Berlin and Switzerland. In 2013 she received the Luci d’Artista Prize in Turin. In 2012 she received the Illy Present/Future Prize. Residencies she participated in include: Fürstenberg, Donaueschingen in 2018, Residency 92Capital, Lima and Calca, Perù in 2015, and Residency Unlimited (RU) in collaboration with Galapagos Art Space, New York in 2013.

Vanessa Safavi’s work mainly encompasses sculpture and installation, but also video, photography and sound. She works in a variety of materials with a predominance for all types of rubbers, revisiting the long tradition of the post-minimalist practices or Antiform and the heritage of the soft-sculpture. Her ongoing research around manufactured materials such as latex and silicone is an investigation into the history of the human body. In her work, she often creates an analogy between the pliable, soft material and human flesh. For Safavi, the complexion of the skin is a fundamental creator of identity and deeply rooted in a cultural history. In this way, when cultural history changes, the same happens to the understanding of our body and thus to the value of our skin. Using conceptual systems of language and a personal narrative, Safavi explores and inquires after the contemporary identity of the body in relation to the constant optimization of technologies and their cultural impacts in our hyperorganized society. This mechanism has unequivocally driven society to a new sphere of identity, in addition to a complex, vulnerable and schizophrenic fragility. To this end, Safavi’s work recalls the weakness of our bodies, along with the poetry that emerges from them.

Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as: Castello di Rivoli, Turin; CRAC Alsace, Altkirch; Fürstenbergisches Museum, Donaueschingen; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, USA; Kunsthalle São Paulo, Argentina; Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg; Nomas Foundation, Rome; SALTS, Basel; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland; Fondation Entreprise Ricard, Paris; Kunstverein Grafschaft, Neuenhaus; and Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow.

Collections: Nomas Foundation, Rome; Kunsthaus Glarus; Ricola Collection, Switzerland; Fiorucci Art Trust, London

Education
2003 – 2007
HEA Diplôme d’arts visuels, ECAL – école cantonale d’art de Lausanne
Professors: Francis Baudevin, Philippe Decrauzat, John Armleder, Julien Fronsacq and Stéphane Dafflon Public Commission

Residencies
2018
Fürstenberg, Donaueschingen
2015
Residency 92Capital, Lima and Calca, Perù
2013
Residency Unlimited (RU) in collaboration with Galapagos Art space, New York
2011
Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council, Cape Town
Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris, Paris

Public Commission – Prizes
2013
Luci d’Artista, Turin
2012
Illy Prize, Artissima art fair, Turin

Solo Exhibitions

2021
Dolls and Goddesses, CASCINA I.D.E.A.Nicoletta Rusconi Art Projects, Agrate Conturbia
2019
Milch, curated by Windhager von Kaenel, Staletta, Madulain
Velvet, ACUD, Berlin
Velvet, Fri Art Kunsthalle, Freiburg
2018
Turns and Returned, The Breeder, Athens
2017
The Cook and the Smoke Detector, CertLüdde, Berlin
2016
Medulla Plaza, Kunstverein Grafschaft, Bentheim
Fair Play, Barbara Seiler Gallery, Zürich
2015
Amygdala, The Breeder Playroom, Athens
Airbags, MOTINTERNATIONAL, Brussels
2014
FIAC, Grand Palais, Paris
cloud metal cities, Kunsthalle São Paulo, São Paulo
La Nuit Liquide, The Breeder, Athens
2013
One Torino, with Santo Tolone and Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Castello di Rivoli, Turin
3 Pounds of Jelly, Chert, Berlin
Der Tanz, curated by Roman Kurzmeyer, Atelier Amden, Amden
2012
Present Future, Artissima, Turin, with Chert, Berlin
After the Monument Comes the People, Back wall installation, Kunsthalle Basel
I Wish Blue could be Water, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch
Les Figures Autonomes, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris
2011
Resort, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus
No More Ice Cream, Pro Helvetia, Cape Town
2010
Between a Tree and a Plastic Chair, Chert, Berlin
Wandering Works, Claudia Groeflin Galerie, Zürich
Successes and Traumas, Le Palais Bleu, Trogen
2009
NEO, Naphtaline, Lausanne
2008
DOM-TOM, zwanzigquadrameter, Berlin

Group Exhibitions
2021
So close I can see inside of you, ChertLüdde, Berlin
2019
All The Small Things, curated by Alessandro Buganza and Margherita Castiglioni, Alessandro Buganza, Milan
After Eight, Fürstenbergisches Museum, Donaueschingen
The House Where You Live Forever, Curated by Marina Coelho, Garage Rotterdam
2018
The Gravity Show, Grisebach, Berlin
And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention, Monitor, Lisbon
Objects like us, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, USA
2017
Dawn (Poetic Sculpture), Performance, with Julie Favreau, Pauline Beaudemont and Ariel Garcia, art berlin fair
Kleingeld, Organised by Santiago Taccetti, Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin
2016
Meaning can only grow out of intimacy (Limbs, Water, Nostalgia), curated by Elise Lammer, Les Urbaines – 20th edition, Lausanne
A Month of Sundays, Taylor Macklin, Zurich
Lonesome Wife, Seventeen, London
The world no longer exists, Kurator, Rapperswil Switzerland
Group presentation at Artissima, Turin
Group presentation at ART-O-RAMA, Marseille
Cycle music and art festival, Kópavogur, Iceland
Che il vero possa confutare il falso, AgiVerona Collection, Palazzo Pubblico/Santa Maria della Scala/Accademia dei Fisiocritici, Siena, curated by Luigi Fassi and Alberto Salvadori
Macaroni, WallRiss, Fribourg
unexpected others, L’Atelier ksr, Berlin
Stick To Me Fantasy: Vanessa Safavi & Pauline Beaudemont, SOLO SHOWS, São Paulo
Leaping over a bush to surprise a quail, Chert, Berlin
Inflected Objects # 2 Circulation – Mise en Séance, Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem, Netherlands
The transparent tortoiseshell and the un-ripe umbrella, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow
2015
Intro, Giorgio Galotti Gallery, Turin
A Space is a Space is a Space, Deutsche Arkitektur Zentrum DAZ, Berlin
Ceramics and Graphite, Chert, Berlin
auto objects, curated by Imke Kannegiesser, at NOTE ON, Berlin
Swiss Art Awards, Basel
Interior/Exterior/Sculpture, Curated by Saskia Neuman, Belenius/Nordenhake, Stockholm
milk revolution, curated by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin at the American Academy, Rome
2014
What do you write when men are puking into plastic bags, Chert, Berlin
Fieldworks: Animal Habitats in Contemporary Art, curated by Chris Clarke, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork
Blackboard – White Page, Kantonsschule Zürich Nord, Zurich
Tell Me What I See, When I Look Into Your Eyes, BolteLang, Zürich
2013
Editionshow, Chert, Berlin
I’ll be your Mirror, Herald St, London
Focus, Frieze Art Fair, London
AB, Nomas Foundation, Rome
The Droste Affect, Scaramouche Gallery, New York
Emmy Moore’s Journal, curated by Quinn Latimer, SALTS, Basel
If I was John Armleder, a project by Luca Cerizza for Art Genève, Geneva
Harum-Scarum, Blancpain Art Contemporain, Geneva
2012
Partoftheprocess 5, Zero gallery, Milan
Gong Places, IAAB-Projektraum, Münchenstien
The Thing Itself, Abbt Projects, Zürich
Junge Kunst in der Schweiz – 30 Jahre Manor Kunstpreis, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau
2011
Le Choix de Paris, curated by Elsy Lahner, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris
Be nice to me, curated by Niels Trannois and Gyonata Bonvicini at Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
A Skeleton in the Closet, curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, Heidelberger Kunstverein-Ausser Haus project, Heidelberg
Livingroom Exotica, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus
2010
the forever ending story #012, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel
That’s all Folklore, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch
Wood you rather…, K3 – Project Space, Zürich
Drinnen & Draussen, Chert, Berlin
En Miroir, projections sur le Folklore, Centre d’art de Fribourg, Fribourg
Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession), curated by Adam Szymczyk and Salvatore Lacagnina in collaboration with Annette Amberg and Roos Gortzak, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel
Luck Draw, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York
The Amazone Conversation, Raum Zur Kunst, Basel
2009
All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom, curated by Christiane Rekade, Artnews Project Space, Berlin
Kiefer Hablitzel, Swiss Art Awards, Basel
2008
If it’s a bird, shoot it!, In Practice project curated by Sarina Basta, Sculpture Center, Long Island, New York
Un Art du Feu, curated by Guillaume Pilet, Espace Bellevaux, Lausanne
Folklore?, Centre culturel suisse de Paris, curated by Léa Fluck, Paris
X, 1M3, Lausanne
Black Diaspora, curated by Nathalie Rehbolz, Espace Out Of This Word, Territet
Joseph Hannibal Now!, curated by Joseph Hannibal, Galerie Blancpain, Geneva
Zoo Art Fair, with 1M3, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2007
Sijang Jeon Eun Neomu Ileo, curated by Aurélien Gamboni, Espace Forde, Geneva
Even anti-heroes need their Mum, with Kim Boninsegni, K. Sgouridis, curated by Samuel Gross, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva
Ecal graduate exhibition, curated by Gloria Friedmann, Ecal, Lausanne
Anathema, with Lauris Paulus and Fabian Marti, curated by Boris Magrini, Fri- Art, Fribourg
Der Tanz der Doppelgänger, curated by Klat, Shark, Geneva

Bibliography
2014
“South likes: Vanessa Safavi at The Breeder, Athens”, Klea Charitou, South as a state of mind, March
2013
“The joy of adventure: on the work of Vanessa Safavi”, Fabian Schoeneich, RES, June, 2013
“Des métaphores à la logique suspendue Vanessa Safavi”, Estelle Nabeyrat, Code 2.0, issue 6, Spring 2013
“Brand New”, Andreas Schlaegel, Flash Art, March – April, 2013
2012
“Deserts, ideologies and relics”, Quinn Latimer,Frieze d/e, no. 7, Berlin
“A conversation between Vanessa Safavi and Silvio do Nascimento”, Wandering Magazine, no. 1, Berlin
2011
“Fokus – Vanessa Safavi”, Christiane Rekade, Kunstbulletin
“Vanessa Safavi”, Aoife Rosenmeyer, Art in America
“Don’t you have anything else to talk about than the color of your car?”, Vanessa Safavi in discussion with Pauline Beaudemont, Capetown – New York
2010
“Between the Tree and a Plastic Chair”, November, no. 2, November 2010
“Between the Tree and a Plastic Chair”, Andreas Schlaegel, Spike, October 2010
2007
Kunstbulletin – The West-Coast of the Lake
Kunstbulletin – DECORUM, invitation de Zorro & Bernardo
2006
Kunstbulletin – L’Atelier du coq a l’âne

 

Projects and Publications:
2016
Medulla Plaza, exhibition catalogue at Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim, published by Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim, ISBN 9783943240160
2014
De Generation of Painting, Vanessa safavi, foundation 107
2013
Eat the blue, Le 116 center for contemporary arts, Montreuil, invitation by Jagna Ciuchta
2011
Blind Traveller, monographic catalogue, Kunsthaus Glarus and Chert, Berlin
2010
Drinnen & Draussen, exhibition catalogue, published by Chert & Motto, Berlin
Vanessa Safavi – Collection Cahiers d’Artistes 2010, published by Pro Helvetia, Fondation suisse pour la culture/Swiss Arts Council
2009
ahahah, OBzine, Fanzine of contemporary art, limited edition, direction du fanzine OB#1
DK, self published fanzine
2008
Lauris Paulus pour Naphtaline, Lausanne
2007
This Year I’m 27, self published fanzine
Stay Home it’s Better, self published fanzine