Hannah Villiger gained prominence in the 1980s with the large-format photographs of her own body, often showing close- ups of fragmented and abstract body parts. The artist, who viewed herself as a sculptor rather than a photographer, was
a fellow at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome from November 1974 to the summer of 1976. These ‘Roman years’ were decisive in shaping her artistic practice: in her studio and in the garden of Villa Maraini, Hannah Villiger began developing simple objects inspired by the materials of Arte Povera. She then gradually shifted to photography perceived in her eyes as a more “sculptural method”, including her iconic photo series featuring palm leaves burning.
Through her works, the exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s remarkable career, with a particular focus on Villiger’s stay at the Istituto Svizzero. Alongside the works, her working diaries and part of her research material are on display.
The exhibition will be complemented by a compelling book released with Mousse Publishing in summer 2021, containing the photographs of the work diaries as well as text contributions by Elisabeth Bronfen, Gioia Dal Molin, Quinn Latimer, and Thomas Schmutz.