Manon, La dame au crâne rasé, 1970s
Das lachsfarbene Boudoir / La dame au crâne rasé

After studying commercial art and acting in Zurich, in 1974 Manon (*1946, Switzerland) began creating environments in which she plays different roles together with sometimes as many as 60 extras and uses virtually all forms of modern media. She was one of Switzerland’s first performance artists and is most likely the country’s most famous. She lived in Paris from 1977 to 1980 before moving back to Zurich, where she lives and works today. Since 1998, she has been concentrating mainly on installations which explore eroticism and transience, most recently in 2011 in her project "Hotel Dolores" concerned with deserted spa hotels in the spa district of Baden, Aargau (Switzerland).

artist's website:

This is a collection of TV features about, among other works, Manon’s Das lachsfarbene Boudoir (The Salmon-Coloured Boudoir), her first environment which she reconstructed for the Migros Museum Zurich in 2006, and La dame au crâne rasé (The Woman with the Shaved Head), a series of staged photographs in Paris. Up until the 1980s, Manon staged and styled her own body as an erotic, feminine artistic being and declared herself an artwork. The Salmon-Coloured Boudoir is a closed space with endless mirror reflections surrounding fetish objects, attributes of a constructed femininity, like feather boas, stilettos and make-up, and personal photographs and letters, exhibiting private space in public. By oscillating between presence and absence, visibility and veiling, Manon recreates herself over and over again, for example as La dame au crâne rasé in Paris, where she lived for some time as an androgynous being.

Courtesy Manon

Document media
video, colour, sound, 12:10 min

Issue date
1974, 1978 / 2006

beauty, fashion/glamour, femininity, in/visibility, private/public