Feathers presents a collection of notes written by the Swiss
artist during the conception of an aborted documentary in 2005. Taking the
shape of a diary, it offers a unique gateway into Manon's daily life,
interweaving memories and reflections on her artistic practice.
“A documentary film that was supposed to be made for the cinema is
mentioned in my notes, as is a biography that a journalist was planning to
write,” writes Manon. “I ended up calling off both, along with plenty of
But the Swiss artist's “notes” for the planned documentary in 2005,
diary-like entries “about the passage of time, and about the passage of my
times,” as she puts it, remained, and are published here for the first time.
In light of the multitude of details they provide, it seems a bit of an
understatement to call them “notes”. Feathers actually
takes the shape of a diary, and turns out to be a multi-layered narrative
providing a succinct and yet feather-light look back on Manon's life, art,
men and day-to-day concerns.
In a mix of timidly restrained, resolute and at times drily humorous prose,
the artist cautiously but confidently attempts to put into words the
balancing act between her everyday life and her artistic career of highly
stylized self-portrayals. Feathers interweaves memories and the
present with comments on apparently minor matters. In contrast to her
elaborate mises-en-scène, what interests the author of these notes is not
pageantry and sensationalism, but minute mood swings, poetic observations of
her urban and natural surroundings, the trials and tribulations of the
heart, and reflections on aging and transience.
Manon (born 1946 in Bern, lives and works in Zurich) is a Swiss feminist performance
She studied art and acting in Zurich. In 1974, she created Salmon-Colored
, the first of many environments and mises-en scène of
extras or of the artist herself. In late 1970s Paris, she turned to staged
, which led to
various black-and-white series including La dame au crâne rasé
Woman with the Shaved Head”). Shown in galleries in Germany and abroad and
featured in various museum collections, to this day her works revolve
around the themes of identity
, gender, eroticism
awarded the Prix Meret Oppenheim in 2008.