Roma and afterwards
Hannah Villiger (1951–1997) lived and worked as a resident artist at Istituto Svizzero in Rome from 1974 to 1976. There she realized her early artistic ideas and developed the sculptural approach to photography that would shape all of her later work—namely large-format photographs of her own body arranged into blocks of several images, which show close-ups of sometimes fragmented and abstracted body parts. Villiger viewed herself as a sculptor rather than a photographer, and these Roman years were decisive in shaping her artistic practice. In her studio and in the garden of Villa Maraini, she first developed simple objects inspired by the materials of Arte Povera, then gradually shifted to photography, perceiving it as a more sculptural method.