Silvie Defraoui. The Tremor of Certitude

Silvie Defraoui. The Tremor of Certitude


Questioning our relationship to images and the way they mediatize reality, the show Silvie Defraoui. The Trembling of Certitudes honors the artist by offering an in-depth look at the last thirty years of work by this major figure of Switzerland’s art scene.

The show was conceived and executed in close collaboration with the artist, and features a first-ever panorama of her body of work, from 1994 to the present, on MCBA’s second floor. Highlighting in particular the plurality of mediums in Silvie Defraoui’s output, the exhibition invites us, through some forty works of art, to understand the impermanence of the present as one of the conditions of the human experience.

In her work, Defraoui examines the images that saturate our daily lives and analyzes their compositions and motifs. Cut-up and reassembled photographs, videos screened on the wall and floor, sand and salt, paintings on canvas, even neon lights mix symbols and graphic elements. The works on display allow us to reevaluate reality and renew our way of seeing. They question the immutable character we imagine objects and images possess, and are part of Archives du futur [Archives of the Future], which Silvie Defraoui founded in 1975 with Chérif Defraoui, and has contributed to on her own since 1994, the year her husband passed away. Like a network of ideas, the Archives du futur forms a decades-long commentary on questions of the image, memory, and the links between space and time – the past, the present, and the future.

With the support of the Ernst Göhner Foundation, the Hans-Eugen und Margrit Stucki-Lietchi Stiftung (HMSL), Kanton St. Gallen Kulturförderung / Swisslos and the Françoise Champoud Foundation.

Exhibition guide


Silvie Defraoui. Le tremblement des certitudes

Laurence Schmidlin (éd.), Silvie Defraoui. Le tremblement des certitudes, with an essay by Laurence Schmidlin and a preface by Juri Steiner, Copublication by Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne and Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich, 2023 (English/French/German), 120 p., 76 ill.

CHF 35.-