Andrea Heller was born in Zurich in 1975. She trained as a graphic designer, then spent a brief period in self-employment before going on to study at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (University of Fine Arts) of Hamburg and at the Zurich University of the Arts. She graduated in 2003. Between 2004 and 2006 she was awarded a studio scholarship from the BINZ39 Foundation, a work grant from the Canton of Zurich and a scholarship from the City of Zurich to work in a studio in the Cité des Arts in Paris. Her artwork encompasses various media; as well as painting and drawing, she works in silhouettes, collage, photography and sculpture. Her pieces are included in a number of public and private collections, and have been featured in various solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad, such as the “aller/retour II – Carte Blanche à Fischli/Weiss” exhibition at the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris.
EMMELINE DE MOOIJ, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANDREA HELLER, MINA TOTINO, UNTIL WE HAVE A HELICOPTER, DANIEL G. WONG
November 17–January 12, 2013
Bringing together six international and Canadian artists, As Far as I Can See contemplates a theme of running away from home. The exhibition investigates the metaphorical space of running away—the lost, explorers and wanderers, and meandering thoughts and dreams—and the physical act of escape—traversing other worlds, ghostly creatures, the dark forest, and the unknown. The exhibition presents both a voyage provoked by the imagination and the beacon that brings us home.
Among the works included is Cloud Studies by Mina Totino (Vancouver), an ongoing series of Polaroid photographs of clouds taken since 1997. Marked with a date, time and occasional anecdotes, the Polaroids reference both the idle pursuit of cloud watching and the transcendent nature of the sky. As a sobering counterpart to Totino’s clouds, Michael Dumontier (Winnipeg) presents a series of foil-stamped books in which the sky is grounded by uniformity and repetition. While no photograph is alike in Cloud Studies, Dumontier presents a scenario in which the intangible sky suddenly feels defined and decisive.
In her 2011 work Hello Trouble, Emmeline de Mooij (Amsterdam) subtly points to the dark and foreboding aspect of fleeing. Composed of plastic, burlap, mud and fabric, the work insinuates a welcoming of the ominous, underlining the possibility that despite the potential for danger, running away breaks us from the confines of the ordinary. The desire to explore the uncharted extends to Daniel G. Wong’s (Lethbridge) work, Are You Wild Are You Free (2012). Wong’s practice is an exploration of wonder, mystery, and poetry in everyday living. He embarks on adventures to immediate and faraway surroundings, wandering to encounter the mundane and remarkable. Wong produces meditations on his findings, questions, and discoveries in the form of zines, posters, and blogs, and his work in this exhibition is generated from recent excursions in Iceland.
Inspired by the memories of her childhood, Andrea Heller (Paris/Zurich) creates a sombre universe populated by creatures and shadows. The playful aura in her work is juxtaposed with suggestions of gloom and abyss. Heller’s work examines the forest as hiding place, incorporating elements of mischief, cheerfulness, and humour. This excursion to the edge of the woods is met with Beacon For The Moonshined Wanderer (2009) by Vancouver-based collective Until We Have A Helicopter, a work comprised of a collection of antique lanterns suspended by rope. The work hangs from the window of the gallery, acting as the destination and departure point for those that stray and the ones that return.
Postscript 49: Sheryda Warrener on As Far As I Can See (PDF)
Artist: Andrea Heller
Writers: Rebecca Geldard
Category: Artist book
Design: Andrea Heller
Printer: Apres Midi Lab, Paris
Year published: 2013
Pages: 4 booklets, 20pp each, 80pp total
Binding: Staple bound
Features: 4 booklets
Weight: 73 g
Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 0.5 cm each
Price: $12 CDN
Holeness is a collaboration between artist Andrea Heller and writer Rebecca Geldard. This four-part series of images and micro stories explores the physical and metaphorical resonances of holes. For all the implied emptiness and stillness, a hole is an active disturbance within another structure, dug, cut, worn and punched into and out of being. Both Heller’s fantastical combinations of abstract and recognisable forms and Geldard’s capsule narratives draw upon this sense of tension surrounding the hole as evidence of an act, the complexities of objecthood and an articulation of absence.