Disputaziuns Susch › 'Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me' Online Symposium


Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me

Online Symposium

18 March 2023

With my Polaroid camera I listen to my naked,

bare body, the outside of it, the inside of it, traversing it.

Thus I create images that I can correct immediately

Hannah Villiger (1951-1997) was an extraordinary voice in the late 20th-century contemporary art, but her work came to an abrupt end with her untimely death. She became known above all for her photographic works based on the body.

Muzeum Susch is hosting the largest presentation of Hannah Villiger’s oeuvre in fifteen years. ‘Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me’ offers new perspectives on the work of this important Swiss artist. Villiger’s large-format works based on Polaroid photographs make a lasting contribution to the genre of the self-image within art history. At the same time, her explorations of the body can be discussed against the background of numerous contemporary themes. Her oeuvre spans from the drawings she made in the 1970s to the black-and-white photographs and works with the Polaroid camera that she created from the 1980s onwards. These fragmentary close-ups of her own body, greatly enlarged via an internegative and mounted on aluminium, are presented individually or assembled into space-related ensembles. The results are unlimited possibilities of at times spectacular views of the body. The exhibition expands the view of Villiger to include contemporary themes and issues. The focus is on the representation of the female body, one’s own perspective, as well as that of others, on the human physique, its classification in the media, questions of surface, space and body, and the objectification of the body. In Villiger’s work, the skin – where humans enter a dialogue with their environment – is a setting for highly topical questions of gender and ethnicity, as well as vulnerability and healing. The body was the artist’s primary working material. We encounter it abstracted or deconstructed; it can be human, but also of plant or artificial origin. Although Villiger’s early death brought her oeuvre to an abrupt end, her works point unwaveringly to the present.

The one-day symposium devoted to the work of Hannah Villiger, organised as part of the exhibition, and accompanying the launch of the artist’s monograph is an attempt to put Villiger’s work into a new light.

For more information about the monograph book, see here

The symposium will be held in English.

No reservation required. Admission free.

Web-stream will start here 18 March, 10 am (CET)

The symposium will be recorded and available to watch online on our website.


10:00 AM


Grażyna Kulczyk

founder of Muzeum Susch, Chairwoman of the Board of Art Stations Foundation CH


Agnieszka Sosnowska

curator of discursive programme at Muzeum Susch

Madeleine Schuppli & Yasmin Afschar

curators of Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me exhibition

Part I My capital is myself : Life of Hannah Villiger


Lecture: Yasmin Afschar

The unbroken experience of life. Hannah Villiger, an Artist’s Artist?


Lecture: Gioia Dal Molin

Burning Palm Leaf in the Evening: Hannah Villiger in Rome, 1974-76


Screening: Ich / Hannah Villiger

documentary film by Edith Jud, 2001


lunch break

Part II Fluid Identities: Contemporary Interpretations


Lecture: Madeleine Schuppli

The Fragmentary in the Work of Hannah Villiger


Lecture: Emily Butler

HANNAH: Performance and Palindromes



coffee break


Lecture: Wolfgang Ullrich

From Auto-aggression to Political Instrument


Panel discussion:

Emily Butler, Aïcha Revellat, Madeleine Schuppli, Agnieszka Sosnowska

moderator: Quinn Latimer


Online guided tour: Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me

Partners of the symposium and the publication:

↘ Participants

↘ Lecture by Yasmin Afschar: ‘The unbroken experience of life. Hannah Villiger, an Artist’s Artist?’

↘ Lecture by Gioia Dal Molin: ‘Burning Palm Leaf in the Evening: Hannah Villiger in Rome, 1974-76’

↘ Lecture by Madeleine Schuppli: ‘The Fragmentary in the Work of Hannah Villiger’

↘ Lecture by Emily Butler 'HANNAH: Performance and Palindromes'

↘ Lecture by Wolfgang Ullrich 'From Auto-aggression to Political Instrument'

↘ Panel Discussion 'Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me'

↘ Online Guided Tour 'Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me'