Woman Crush Wednesday: Cornelia Hediger
Over the years I have become more and more interested in photo-collages and photomontages and their potential for creating powerful spaces. The photo-collages are constructed out of a combination of pigment and gelatin silver prints, with imagery originating from various sources including the artist’s studio practice, and scans of wallpaper, paint and cardboard. These are combined with recent photographs of travels in Europe, the patriarchal home in Switzerland and other family artifacts.
The hand of the artist is up front and center across this series – pencil marks, irregular cuts left exposed, paint, hanging strings, and individual elements attached in low relief, which together draw attention to the unusual focal planes, angles of view and shifts in scale. All of this combines perfectly with the seemingly whimsical narratives that take the viewer on a journey through the artist’s fictionalized world. The use of self-portraiture prevails, linking this series back to the previous Doppelgänger work.
Interview by Agnes Bae
Could you talk a little bit about your inspiration for this series?
I am very much inspired by paintings, and I am also fascinated by how we arrange and move through spaces. Images like the Merode Altarpiece by Robert Campin I find fascinating. Of course there is a religious aspect to this painting, a triptych, but I am mostly captured by the way Campin dealt with space.
Puppenhaus' translates to 'dollhouse,' is there a particular reason you decided to combine collaging with this theme and body of work?
Originally, I titled the series Puppenhaus. At first I was building miniature sets, very much like a dollhouse, and I photographed these spaces. I realized, however, that this method was not giving me the results I was looking for. I then started to dive into photomontages but kept the title of the series, as I could not come up with a better title at the time. For now I am referring to the work as photomontages, photo-collages or new work. I do have a new title in mind, however, and I will rename the series soon.
I sense some comedic elements in the images, like your head on a baby or body parts enlarged--what kind of story are you trying to tell through these images?
Creating work, to me, is about exploration and pushing my own boundaries. The photomontages allow me to play freely with space, size, distortion, multiple angles, and shifts in focal planes. The spaces have become more distorted, the heads have gotten larger in some montages and the bodies have shrunk. I observe the collages when I am building them, and see how far I can push them before they fall apart. This method allows me to create whimsical environment where anything is possible. The montages are spaces I would like to walk through. They are environments where things are off and where our sense of scale and size gets challenged.
How does this series fit into the rest of your work?
When I look at all the work, I have created over the past 15 years, it makes sense to me how one body of work develops into the next. After six years of creating work, for the Doppelgänger series, I had the need to explore image making differently. I was able to distort images, in the Doppelgänger series, somewhat but I ran into limitations as the work is all created in the camera and is not computer manipulated. All my work is narrative in nature. I love fairy tales, I love stories, and I love good books.
Describe your creative process in one word.
If you could teach a one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
The importance of being compassionate towards animals.
What was the last book or film that inspired you?
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.
What is the most played song in your library?
I don’t have a library of songs. I love a completely quiet space more than anything.
How do you take your coffee?
I stopped drinking coffee years ago but I drink lots and lots of hot chocolate – and I love it.