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Sylvia Bossu

1961Saint-Rémy, France | 1995Savoie, France
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French Multimedia Artist.

Former student at the Fine Art School of Dijon, Sylvia Bossu first exhibited her work in the same city in 1988, questioning from the outset the role of the spectacle in artistic devices. The installation Immédiat (Immediate, 1988) was realised for the Fonds regional d’art contemporain (FRAC) Bourgogne. The piece consists of stereoscopes placed on plinths presenting slideshows of works exhibited in the same room, referring to the here and now, as well as to the perception of the viewer, whose perspective is deconstructed. Similarly, her Miroirs de courtoisie (Courtesy Mirrors, 1989), composed of several car sun-visors placed just a few centimetres from one another, traps the viewer wanting to see their reflection. The artist participated in workshops at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1992 and exhibited her Brèves (Briefs) at the Parisian gallery Anne de Villepoix the following year. Her works created “devices” that self-destructed as the other, the view, consumed them. Her Films cousus (Sewn films, 1992) were made of a film projector weighing on the pedal of a sewing machine, which, put in action, caused the film to loop on the projector. La Mangeuse d’images (Image eater, 1992) assembled Super 8 projectors with a computer hard drive destroyer that allowed people to watch, one last time, their home videos before the machine destroyed them.

A scholarship led S. Bossu to Berlin and allowed her to participate in exhibitions from Vienna to Antwerp, Munich, Sète and Angers. The artist, who embodies the “image eater” installed her devices, continued to challenge her viewers individually. This was the time when relational aesthetics became a subject of debate, a notion to which she added significance, particularly in terms of stress and discomfort. Her work Elle est trop fraîche (She is too Fresh, 1992) presented five scales which must be mounted for them to emit sounds linked to fundamental human functions: breathing, heartbeats, moans, cries of pleasure (both feminine and masculine) and fright. As for Moment voulu (Wanted Moment, 1995), there is one scale connected to a grinder that spouts raw meat when a visitor stands on it. In July 1995 a car accident ended the artist’s life, along with that of her partner Éric Colliard.

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Élizabeth Lebovici

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, Un moment voulu, 1995, mincer, scales, fresh meat, FRAC Bourgogne

Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, In the middle of Nowhere, 1993, sound installation, Institut d’Art Contemporain Villeurbanne

Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, La mémoire du passant, 1991, structure with wood and black fabric, 2 showers, inscription on fabric, 300 x 200 x 500 cm, FRAC Bourgogne

Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, Les oiseaux, 1989, super 8 projector, loop silent film, 2 video recorders, 2 audio cassettes, projection table, FRAC Bourgogne

Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, Miroirs de courtoisie 1, 1988, vanity mirror (car), photoelectric cell, photographic flash, FRAC Bourgogne

Sylvia Bossu — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvia Bossu, Omnia, 1991, pedal sewing machine, super 8 projector, loop silent film, 2 stools, FRAC Bourgogne

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