2016 - Ongoing
The topic of the mask first comes into Nathalie Bissig’s work in drawings (since 2004). Since 2012, a collection of filigree, hand-sewn, textile masks are created and shown in exhibitions as installations. Since 2016 she stages her masks in black and white photographs. The dreamlike and surreal of her drawings and the sculptural aspect of her textile masks are now combined in the medium of photography. In this way, photographic scenes are created, that can be read as reportage of inner pictures.
The masks for the series “Dall’ Alto” are explicitly created for the photographs to be taken. Aspects of the landscape, the weather or the mountain atmosphere are taken into account. The completed masks are treated with soot, ashes, dirt and fire; on site founded grass become hair, trees become bodies. The aim is to depict the masks as part of the landscape and the landscape a part of the mask. The surroundings of a remote hut in the Ticino mountains in Switzerland, which she visits regularly, serve as the backdrop of the pictures.
In the final series, pictures of the masks are shown in landscapes combined with pictures of landscapes without masks. The photographs are mostly eerie and gloomy, but at the same time attract and touch the viewer in a mysterious way.
Nathalie Bissig grew up in Central Switzerland, in the Kanton of Uri. As a child she experienced the tradition of the Fasnacht (carneval) and listend to the storys of saga, both had a great impact on her and her imagination. Her interest as an adult is in her own and the collective dealing with fears and the eerie, to express this, she uses visual elements of the old traditions she grown up with in her very own way.