artist / participant

press release

The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is happy to present Night Shift, the first major solo exhibition in a Swiss institution by Swiss artist Sonia Kacem (b. 1985, Geneva), from 20 May to 14 August 2016.

Since its origins, the work of Sonia Kacem is driven by the deeply intuitive and sensual relationship she has with her chosen materials. Her voluminous ephemeral site-specific compositions are the result of an array of spontaneous gestures, which use a kind of performative system attempting to merge the content and the container, the macro- and the microscopical.

The ephemeral and modular aspect of Sonia Kacem’s installation requires preliminary plastic research work, taking place in the studio. She stores an array of materials that might one day serve her: dust samples, pieces of fabrics, sketches, models, bric-a-brac of objects, books where she jots down ideas and reinterprets old works to develop new ones.

Night Shift was conceived during her four-month residency at the Centre, and reflects its own architectural format. Objects manufactured in the industrial world and the matter – retrieved or rented for the occasion – are here taken out of context, deprived of their artifact status, grouped and staged in provisional situations echoing the two very distinct spaces intended to receive them: the open space of the second floor, with its natural light, evoking a horizon versus the fragmentation of the closed rooms of the third floor.

These autonomous and built forms confront the random and disorderly nature of installation. Through its sculptural components and its appearance of décor, this project walks the trails of fiction or drama, question the notion of the status of the artwork and of the production cycle while staying in the abstract register.

Sonia Kacem studied at the Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD) in Geneva and at the CCW Graduate School, University of the Arts in London. Today she lives and works in Geneva. She has had solo exhibitions at, amongst others: Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen; Kunstverein Nürnberg; Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich; La Rada, Locarno; T293, Rome. Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions in Europe, including at: Musée d’art moderne et contemporain (Mamco), Geneva Autocenter, Berlin; Miart, Milan; Aanant&Zoo, Berlin; Swiss Art Awards, Basel; Sommer&Kohl, Berlin; Bucharest Biennale 4, Bucharest. Sonia Kacem will also be ‘guest resident’ at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam between May and November 2016.