Hannah Villiger: Amaze Me
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
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.
founder of Muzeum Susch, Chairwoman of the Board of Art Stations Foundation CH
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
Part II Fluid Identities: Contemporary Interpretations
Lecture: Madeleine Schuppli
The Fragmentary in the Work of Hannah Villiger
Lecture: Emily Butler
HANNAH: Performance and Palindromes
Lecture: Wolfgang Ullrich
From Auto-aggression to Political Instrument
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:
The foundation THE ESTATE OF HANNAH VILLIGER