The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève proudly presents the 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.
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.”
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 concerts. An exhibition dedicated to design will then take over the exhibition spaces during the summer, with works by Théophile Blandet and Audrey Large, extending the main themes of Chrysalis through the prism of materiality. This project will be co-curated with BRH+ (Barbara Brondi & Marco Rainò).
Rounding out the exhibition, a richly illustrated bilingual catalogue (in French and English) by Lenz Press will include an essay by Andrea Bellini and contributions by a number of curators, critics, artists, philosophers, and scholars on themes related to metamorphosis.
Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dream is a project curated by Andrea Bellini.
Curatorial advisors: Sarah Lombardi and Sara De Chiara.
In collaboration with Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.