3ème biennale de l'Art Brut: Corps - November 17, 2017 through April 29, 2018

With "the body" as its leitmotif, the third edition of our Art Brut biennials (following Véhicules in 2013 and Architectures in 2015), presents works belonging exclusively to the Collection de l'Art Brut holdings, and linked together by a common theme. Gustavo Giacosa, who besides being an exhibition organizer is also an actor, dancer and stage director, has been invited to design the presentation. Thanks to its new theme, this show enables us to highlight the full wealth of the Lausanne museum's collections, presently encompassing some 70,000 works.

Embracing at once the intimate and the universal, the human body is one of Western art history's major motifs. Starting from the mystery of "the Word made flesh," the body makes it possible to express the divine, as well as the injuries inflicted throughout human history. The body's representation in art is a metaphor that refers to the context in which the work was conceived and the emotions it evokes. However, the body also serves as a platform upon which to construe collective or individual legends. Far from representing a univocal sign, the body is a reflection of how the margins and the centers of our society are positioned.

Featuring some 300 drawings, paintings, photos and sculptures, this show illustrates the multiple ways Art Brut has come up with to represent the human body. At the same time, it pays due tribute to the intimate dialogue ensuing between the creators and their creations.

The works represent a series of "battles" waged by their creators—barring any intercession or concession—with their own image and singular life experience. For some, the body represents a haven marked by complex intimacy; others see it as a prison from which to flee, or else a center of energies needing to be freed and transformed.

Rarely on display, this show's prisoner tattoos attest to the interest they kindled in the eyes of Jean Dubuffet—founder of the Art Brut concept and of the Lausanne museum for creations on the fringes of the art world. Guo Fengyi and Robert Gie illustrate the fluids that flow through our body. Carlo Zinelli and Giovanni Bosco confront us with dismembered bodies. Aloïse Corbaz, Sylvain Fusco and Giovanni Galli see the body as a source of carnal pleasure, as testified by the big-breasted female figures featured in their drawings and paintings. Meanwhile, Josef Hofer deals almost exclusively with representations of the male body and its overblown sexuality. Some creators illustrate the body's internal mechanisms: Katharina and Sylvain Lecoq both come to mind. Drawings by respectively Ataa Oko and Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern feature various bodily metamorphoses. And, finally, there remains the ultimate bodily transformation as represented by skeletons and Death itself— seen in works of, notably, Emile Josome Hodinos, Giovanni Battista Podestà and Vojislav Jakic.

Curatorship: Gustavo Giacosa 

The "Body" exhibition in the medias:

Artension, Françoise Monnin, "Des corps dans le décor", novembre 2017

RTS, Couleur 3, "Le son de la Pauline", 20.11.2017

RTS, TV Journal 19h30, "La Collection de l'Art Brut de Lausanne met le corps à l'honneur", 17.11.2017

La Télé, L'actu,  "Représentations du corps dans l'Art Brut", 16.11.2017

24Heures, Florence Millioud-Henriques, "L'Art Brut soigne le corps", 19.11.2017

La Liberté, Aurélie Lebreau, "Expression corporelle", 25.11.2018

RTS, La 1ère, "Culture au point", 10.12.2017

Le Temps, Laurence Chauvy, "Le corps, envers de la psyché", 22.01.2018

RTS, La 1ère, émission "Sous les pavés", "David Lebreton: corps et adolescence", 18.02.2018

Bon Pour la Tête, Michèle Laird, "Le Corps dans la Collection de l'Art Brut", 20.02.2018

Le Courrier de Lavaux, Pierre Jeanneret, "Le corps dans tous ses états à la Collection de l'Art Brut", 01.02.2018

Artpress, Claire Margat, "Gustavo Giacosa, danseur et commissaire d'exposition", march 2018

Lacritique.org, Claire Margat, "Le corps dans l'Art Brut", 11.03 2018

L'Oeil, Colin Cyvoct, "Biennale de l'Art Brut: Corps transfigurés", avril 2018

Practical information


17 November 2017 - 29 April 2018

Opening reception

Thursday 16 November, 2017, 6:30pm


Gustavo Giacosa, David Le Breton and Sarah Lombardi, Body, Lausanne/ Milan, Collection de l’Art Brut/ 5 Continents Editions, 2017, "Art Brut, la collection," directed by Sarah Lombardi, 20.5 x 25.5 cm, 168 pages, over 100 color plates. Available in French and/or English.

Anic Zanzi, Le Corps dans l’Art Brut (Children's book), Paris, Editions Thierry Magnier, 2017, 16 x 21 cm, 32 pages 

Guided tours

Upon request for groups and classes: in French, German, English and Italian.

Performances and workshops linked to the "Body" exhibition

At La Grange de Dorigny:
December 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm : Terra Levis, a performance written and played by Gustavo Giacosa
December 16 + 17, 2017, from 2:30 to 6:30 pm: "Dance, Body and Image" Workshop led byGustavo Giacosa, Fausto Ferraiuolo and Francesca Zaccaria.
December 17, 2017 at 11:15 am: Guided tour of the "Body" exhibition, by Gustavo Giacosa (lasts one hour and a half), Collection de l’Art Brut.
For more information and reservations:wp.unil.ch/grangededorigny

At Théâtre Sévelin 36 :
February 10, 2018, 2 pm : Guided tour of the "Body" exhibtion, Collection de l’Art Brut.
Théâtre Sévelin 36, 3:30 to 5 pm: Lecture by David Le Breton Corps et mondes contemporains (Contemporary Bodies and Worlds), followed by cocktails.

Under the auspices of "Printemps de Sévelin" (Spring in Sévelin)
March 4, 2018, 1 pm : Guided tour of the « Body» exhibition, by Gustavo Giacosa, Collection de l’Art Brut.
Théâtre Sévelin 36, 2:30 to 4 pm: Lecture by Gustavo Giacosa Ceci n’est pas mon corps (this is not my body)
5 pm - Manuel Roque's show Bang Bang.
For more information and/or reservations, see: www.theatresevelin36.ch

At Théâtre du Vide-Poche :
From February 7 to 17: Pour toi, trouble cantique (for you, a hymn of turmoil), a stage play based on texts by Marguerite Burnat-Provins, by the "Théâtre liquide" stage company.
For more information and/or reservations, see: polesud.ch/lieu/theatre-du-vide-poche


The exhibition 3ème biennale de l'Art Brut: Corps is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Associated event(s)

  • Public opening of the "Bodies" exhibition - Thursday 16 November 2017, 06:30 pm

    Public opening of the "Bodies" exhibition

  • Little Sunday dates - "Metamorphoses" tales and tidbits - Sunday 19 November 2017, 03:00 pm

    For children from age 5, accompanied by an adult
    Duration : 45 min. followed by a snack on the theme of the day
    Fr. 10.–/per person

  • Free guided tour for teachers - Thursday 30 November 2017, 05:00 pm - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Little Sunday dates - "Metamorphoses" tales and tidbits - Sunday 3 December 2017, 03:00 pm - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Gourmand worskshop on the "Body" show - Wednesday 6 December 2017, 02:00 pm - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Free guided tour of the "Body" exhibition, linked with a workshop at the Grange de Dorigny - Sunday 17 December 2017, 11:00 amFree guided tour - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Free guided tours ***SOLD OUT*** - Saturday 20 January 2018, 02:00 pm
  • Young people's workshop ***SOLD OUT*** - Saturday 20 January 2018, 02:00 pm

    Young public Workshop/ exhibition "Corps"

    Ages: 6-10
    Duration: 1h45

  • Young people's workshop - Saturday 10 February 2018, 02:00 pm
  • Free guided tour of the "Body" exhibition, linked with David Le Breton's lecture in Theatre Sévelin 36 ***SOLD OUT*** - Saturday 10 February 2018, 02:00 pm
  • Free guided tour under the auspice of the Printemps de Sévelin and Gustavo Giacosa's lecture. - Sunday 4 March 2018, 01:00 pm
  • Free guided tour of the "Ernst Kolb" exhibition - Saturday 17 March 2018, 02:00 pm
  • - Saturday 17 March 2018, 02:00 pm
  • Finissage de l'exposition "Corps": performance de Gustavo Giacosa - Sunday 29 April 2018, 04:30 pm

    Finissage de l'exposition Corps