In Memory of Ophelia, 1976 | by Colette

Photograph and mixed media on foam core

12.5′ x 12.5′

© Colette

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In Memory of Ophelia (Records  from the Story of My Life Series), 1976.

Sleeping Performance, detail of the installation “In Memory of Ophelia and all of those who died of love and madness (with the actress Tabeia Blumeshein, also sleeping within the installation). As part of the exhibition “New York-Downtown Manhattan: Soho” @ The Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1976.

© Colette


A prominent figure in the downtown New York scene since the 1970s, Colette’s multimedia work has influenced major artists and musicians, including Cindy Sherman and Madonna. Colette began working on the streets of SoHo, creating constructed photographic works that functioned as pastiches of painting genres, and lavish installations of bunched fabrics, pushing Victorian or Rococo interiors to postmodern extremes. In all of her work, Colette worked under the guise of performative personas that explore issues of the body, gender, and representation. Wearing extravagant costumes, she performed, live, and slept in her installations; she even once staged her own death at the downtown Whitney Museum. “I thought of myself as ‘post conceptual’ because I persisted and believed strongly in the power of symbols,” she said. “My work was putting less emphasis on the intellect alone. I sought unity of body, mind, and soul, in my life and art”. –

Additional information

Dimensions 31.8 × 31.8 × 1 cm