Sondra Perry – Lineage for a Phantom Zone

13 February – 13 March 2022

Fondation Beyeler presents Lineage for a Phantom Zone, an immersive audio-visual installation by the US-American artist Sondra Perry. The work imagines a dream about the artist’s grandmother that Perry wishes she could have had, thereby exploring her personal history as the roots of dreams, the erasure of Black history in the American South, and the dream space as a passage for reaching sites of heritage that are absent in reality. The multisensory installation will be accessible on the museum’s lower floor and accompanied by an artist’s book.


Born in 1986 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Sondra Perry creates interdisciplinary works that employ video, performance, and digital media to investigate identity, technology, and Blackness, often through the lens of her personal and family history. Perry’s moving-image works and installations foreground the tools of digital production as a way to critically reflect on new technologies of representation and to remobilize their potential. She is committed to democratizing technology and making all her videos free online. Having earned a BFA from Alfred University and MFA from Columbia University, Sondra Perry is widely active as a teacher. She is currently pursuing a degree in psychoanalysis through the Respecialization Program at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR). She lives and works in Newark, New Jersey.

Lineage for a Phantom Zone by Sondra Perry is the inaugural work for the “Dream Commission”, an initiative from Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, in partnership with Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine. The biennial “Dream Commission” is awarded to an emerging artist working in the medium of moving-image art to investigate the idea of ‘dreams’.

Sondra Perry was unanimously selected as winner by an international Jury composed of artistic director of Serpentine Hans Ulrich Obrist; chief curator at Fondation Beyeler Theodora Vischer; former director of the Parrish Art Museum Terrie Sultan; director of the Australian Centre for the Moving Images Katrina Sedgwick and artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien.

The Jury selected Sondra Perry from a shortlist of four artists including Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Martine Syms and Zhou Tao. Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine hosted the online presentation of works by the shortlisted artists which can be viewed here:

For more information about the Dream Commission and the artists

Image: Sondra Perry, Lineage for a Phantom Zone, excerpt from short-form work created to win the “Dream Commission”, 2020. © Sondra Perry; courtesy the artist and Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

Copyright: Courtesy the artists and Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.
The exhibition is generously supported by: