Zilla Leutenegger, Zilla Nina Ballerina, video installation, DVD, loop, 8’, ed 3 + 1 a.p., 1997
curated by Charlotte Mailler
December 10, 2002 - February 8, 2003
''...When approaching Zilla Leutenegger’s world we are not asked to drop our dreams, but simply to get into the romantic univer- se of a young adult who has decided to preserve the freedom and joyful spontaneity of her childhood. Her life is a game and her work the mirror image of the characters she likes playing.
Zilla is Cinderella: one day a prince charming comes riding his motorcycle and takes her away; she drops her red shoe behind (Performance project, 2000). Zilla is a pop star (The Moles, Zurich, 1998-1999), Zilla is Zorro, a naive heroine clumsily riding her horse in a cardboard western landscape (Z, 2002). Zilla speaks Japanese (Zipcode, 2001). Zilla conquers the moon and urinates like a man (Der Mann im Mond, 2000). Zilla gets bored. Zilla is rocked to sleep by a huge power shovel (Oh, mein Papa, 2001). Zilla is someone special and magic.
Each work shows a new aspect of this complex mythical character, whose identity is strongly affected by pop and media cul- ture. The artist fundamentally enacts her own intimacy while keeping detached. Her work is neither autobiographic nor exhibi- tionistic.
Like her studies on sleepers, the projection bearing the title In verso shares an intimist and solitary dimension. Zilla is playing with her pencil, with words. She is drawing, while unconditionally following her thoughts and inspiration. Not too far away, one can hear the melody played by a piano: someone is infinitely repeating the same leitmotiv. In a corner a dancer is making a few steps. In both cases, Zilla is opening the doors of the artist’s atelier to let us witness the process of creation. Unreserved and natural, she shows us the spontaneity and freshness of a first step, a first line. Ballerina is a game, but, above all, is the enact- ment of an image and a memory. In her hired tutu and dancing shoes, in a dreamy time, she is playing a new role. The viewer is silently led into her world...'''
I wish I was special by Charlotte Mailler