Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream

Exhibition view of Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève proudly announces its major group exhibition Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream (Chrysalide : le rêve du papillon), devoted to the transformations that occur within us as well as outside of us. Life itself is subject to constant change, to a constant state of ephemeral, unstable flux. Its incessant reconfigurations began long before the emergence of humans and will continue long into the future.

Chrysalis pays homage to the world’s never-ending metamorphosis and all its organic (and inorganic) inhabitants. The exhibition explores the concept of mutability from a wide range of different formal, existential, and political angles. Each thing, each image, and each form in this exhibition is in flux—shifting from one state to another, becoming something else, cycling through multiple identities.

Ventura Profana, The Power of Those Who Pray, 2021
Photo: Igor Furtado, 2021

Monster Chetwynd, Peanut, 2018. © Monster Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Julia Bauer

The individuals present here—as well as the plants and inorganic substances—become receptacles of these multiple identities. They form polyptychs, anthropomorphic and botanical sculptures that intertwine in a relentless rhythm of transformation, like a shapeshifting coral reef caught up in its own ceaseless mutation. There are no fixed images in this exhibition, no immutable lines or insuperable boundaries. Everything vibrates and quickens under the pressure of an inescapable intrinsic necessity: transformation.

Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream addresses the triumphant and liberating aspects of change while raising complex, sensitive, and even rather painful, questions. “This constant tension between joy and tragedy, between pleasure and pain, runs through the entire exhibition and forms its backbone, its most intimate narrative,” explains Andrea Bellini, director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. “Visitors will fully immerse themselves in the great adventure of metamorphosis, in the palpable experience of a changing world that invites us to change too, to develop our beliefs and our views of things.”

Rachel Rose, Sixth Born, 2019. © Rachel Rose, Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Mayara Yamada, 2021. Courtesy of Fernanda Liberti and Labo Young

Exhibition view of Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

Chrysalis marks the major project of 2023 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. With some sixty artists and over two hundred works, including loans from the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, it will also feature a special lineup of performance art, screenings, a special music program and an online tribute to Genesis P-Orridge.

With works by Paul Amar, Eleanor Antin, Marcel Bascoulard, Cecilia Bengolea, Marie Bouttier, Leigh Bowery, Genesis & Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, Marguerite Burnat-Provins, Monster Chetwynd, Eleni Christodoulou, Kirby Dick, Janko Domsic, Bob Flanagan, Faye Formisano, Nagi Gianni & ReveRso & Yotta Baka, Fergus Greer, Guo Fengyi, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Dunya Hirschter, Juliana Huxtable, Juliet Jacques, Davood Koochaki, Gabriel Kuri, Marie Losier, Ana Lupaş, Tomasz Machciński, Plinio Martelli, Jacopo Mazzetti, Pierre Molinier, Jota Mombaça, Ataa Oko, Luigi Ontani, Frida Orupabo, Ventura Profana, Agnes Questionmark, Naufus Ramírez- Figueroa, Grisélidis Réal, André Romão, Rachel Rose, Mathilde Rosier, Sergio Sarri, Luigi Serafini, Cindy Sherman, Marianna Simnett, Sin Wai Kin, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Kiki Smith, Jenna Sutela, Kaari Upson, Raphaela Vogel, Pedro Wirz, Mayara Yamada & Ursulina de Lombardia, Anicka Yi, Anna Zemánková and Bruno Zhu.

Sin Wai Kin, Taking off the universe day 2, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Soft Opening, London.
Photo: Theo Christelis

Exhibition view of Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream
Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
January 25 – June 4, 2023

All images courtesy Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
Photo: Mathilda Olmi