Monday, June 22, 2009

Cornelia Hediger

I'm picturing a dinner party where Cornelia Hediger, Anthony Goicolea, Francesca Woodman, and Guy Bourdin are the only guests. I'm afraid things don't go well, and food is thrown. In my vision, Cornelia is the one left standing at the end, and she and Anthony go out for a drink and laugh over the events of the evening.

I was lucky to meet the Swiss-born Cornelia Hediger many years ago when we were both studying at Rutgers University. Cornelia is the hardest working artist I know, with awe-inspiring drive and determination. I am posting three images here, two from her earlier work, and one from the latest, the Doppelgänger series. With this latest series, the images start with a sketch that is conceived as a narrative between the main character and her double. She plays all parts herself and doesn't use any digital manipulation to insert herself into the image panels. She shoots each panel separately as a single photo, and then digitally puts them together in the grid as one composition. An average of 120 images are shot for a six panel image. The difficulty of this exacting process of producing work gives us some insight- Ms. Hediger is a perfectionist.

I think of the work as a series of blatantly psychological portraits. In these photos Cornelia unflinching toys with our expectations while exploring this often dark territory, inciting both laughter and sadness. While many of the images focus on experiences specific to women, the work is accessible to all in its forays into the universal themes of madness, lust, loss, fear, innocence and despair.

You can see her work on her website: or on her New York gallery's site:

The first two photos here is from the older series The Future is Canceled, and the panel image is from her most recent body of work, Doppelgänger.


  1. I admire people that "verbalize" what everybody is thinking about.

  2. I had this woman as my professor when going to a community college. She was the light of my day!

  3. Extraordinary pictures, I've heard so much about Cornelia Hediger that I feel I want to meet her, I feel I have already met her without seen her or knowing who she is.