Zilla Leutenegger

Zilla Leutenegger

From Here to the Moon
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Born in Zurich in 1968, Zilla Leutenegger was working for a fashion house in Hong Kong when she decided to pursue a career as an artist. She returned to her native city, and in 1995 began studying at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, where she graduated in 1999. During this period, she also became a video assistant in the Department of Architecture at the ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zurich. The artist soon began dedicating herself to drawing, which she likes for the immediacy of the gesture, and to video, which enables her to bring her works to life.

Since her early days, the artist has been creating collage-like juxtapositions between filmed images, projected images, mural drawings and sometimes even real objects, within three-dimensional installations that fill the space with shadows and light. A pioneer in the artistic use of digital technology, she is especially known for her “video drawings”—videos that are enhanced with drawings and manipulated by computer. Made up of short, looping sequences, their scenarios are reduced to simple actions.

Being the sole protagonist in her creations, which lie midway between autobiography and roleplay, Leutenegger essentially re-enacts domestic scenes or familiar memories. She takes moments drawn from everyday life and transforms them into an art of intimacy infused with poetry. However, she approaches the representation of the private sphere in a deliberate spirit of distance. The superimposition of several mediums itself moves us away from reality.

In the era of self-overexposure and wilful voyeurism, Zilla Leutenegger’s projections are devoid of any exhibitionism or narcissism. They reveal the calm beauty that resides in the simplicity of our lives, like fragments of our presence in the world.

Her work has been presented in several solo exhibitions (Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, 2014; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2015; Musée Jenisch, Vevey, 2016), and can be found in the collections of several institutions, such as the Aargauer Kunsthaus, the Kunsthaus Zurich, the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. Zilla Leutenegger lives and works in Zurich and Berlin.

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