Siggi Hofer. still life
still life is an artist’s book in the form of a newspaper (the “Deutsch-Gotisch” typeface is a nod to the daily “Dolomiten,” which the artist grew up reading) with literary writings by Hofer himself. They bring into focus the significance of autobiographical reflection—searching meditations on memory, childhood, identity, and emancipation—in his art. Alternating between sober-minded analysis and humor, the texts are unsparingly candid while leaving room for doubt.
One picture that reappears on the book’s cover is a kind of secret key to it: a drawing from a children’s encyclopedia that has Hofer spellbound even after decades. It is an apocalyptic scene, an illustration of the aftermath of an earthquake, with burning buildings and cars being swallowed up by the earth. The picture strikes a keynote that belies the show of playfulness: “Disaster strikes somewhere else”—but strike it does. [publisher's note]