Fabrice Gygi

° 1965

Born in Geneva (), lives in Zurich ().

Fabrice Gygi’s oeuvre mainly comprises performances and installations. In the 1980s both his life and work are pervaded by a general rejection of the social order. During this period the artist keeps to an alternative, perhaps even anarchist lifestyle. He leads a nomadic existence as an activist of the squatter’s movement in Geneva, and takes part in radical, anti-establishment protests. Gygi’s interest in authority and the unmasking of the mechanisms by which authority avails itself, come to expression in his performances and installations. In his performances he explores his body’s limits by setting it extreme tests. These theatrical bodily mutilations bespeak a particularly ambivalent stance: his protest against authority is paired with a great fascination for power and the conviction that an authority figure lies dormant in us all. In the creation of his installations, Gygi uses everyday objects that radiate authority: (para)military equipment, nationalist emblems, crowd barriers and command/prohibition signs that serve to keep sporting events or parties under control. The installations confront the viewer with the ever-increasing control- and power mechanisms in our society that impede our freedom of movement. Moreover, they start us thinking about civil obedience and raise questions about our Western ideal of freedom.

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