No Wind Today
Exhibition: – 1 Oct 2022
Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
rue Marguerite-Dellenbach 3
The exhibition No Wind Today is devoted to the work of the Austrian artist Iris Hutegger, where photography and embroidery meet. Her works are unique pieces that raise the question of our reaction to the flood of images in an era of hyper-reproducibility.
Iris Hutegger takes analogue photographs of the mountains on a colour negative, enlarges the resulting images and prints them in black and white. The image is then subjected to the slow and delicate process of embroidery on her sewing machine.
The landscapes Iris Hutegger creates are the layers of an intimate geology.
Her approach is to erase the landscape until it is almost naked, by means of discolouration. The mountain thus becomes a blank page on which her inner world comes to life. In these landscapes, captured during trips to the Alps, Iceland and elsewhere - the precise locations do not matter - the artist tries to find a grey matter. Everything starts with a black and white print.
Photography is the place of revelation, the mental space where vision takes shape through embroidery. The coloured threads in turn shape the landscape and awaken the image to its lost meaning. They animate the static dance of the rocks and form an organic structure that brings the landscape out of its coldness and silence.
« I am fascinated by the subject of perception, the questions of reality and illusion, of location and delocalisation. Analogue photography with its reference point
in the real world is necessary so that I can play with perception and illusion by manipulating the image through stitching. »
Iris Hutegger's approach is that of dissolving topographical markers in order to bring out what she calls "a real image of fiction". The threads of colour phagocytise the landscape, engulfing it in order to create a new one, in a continuous blossoming movement that plays on the acceleration and distension of time.
Strangely, these photographic landscapes, so bleached and bare, reveal something of the singularity of these mountains. The landscape seems purified, as if the artist had revealed its mineral intimacy through the materiality of the thread.
Iris Hutegger's works suggest that stones do not remain next to the sensible, but are in relation with what surrounds them. They cannot be without experience and memory. With these hybrid works, the artist shows us a metaphysical vision of the real world.
For Iris Hutegger, the mineral is also the instrument of an ecological awareness. The threads are an attempt to re-establish a coherence between man and the matter of the world. In these deserted landscapes, alien to any human intervention, the threads are the witnesses that we are part of the materiality of the world.
These works constitute a visual renewal that opens new perspectives and new ways of inhabiting the world. It is as if the landscapes of this mineral imaginary obtained through the manipulation of photographs rebalance something of the complex relationship between man and the nature that surrounds him and that he shapes day after day.
Iris Hutegger was born in 1964 in Schladming, Austria. She moved to Switzerland in 1990 and currently lives and works in Basel. She has been exhibiting her work regularly since 2004. As a sculptor and visual artist, Iris Hutegger creates installations that involve landscape and space, the natural and the artificial. She puts pieces of landscape in suitcases, draws chairs with cotton thread, creates flowering meadows in exhibition halls, and elaborates a figurative and conceptual work of great poetry. For her photographic work, Iris Hutegger takes the mountains as her subject. She shoots the color negatives in black and white and, from these documentary and almost abstract images, embroiders her own colors with a sewing machine. colors with a sewing machine on the landscape, bringing a third dimension to the image: that of emotion.