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Jan 13, 2021 | Edition VFO

Podcast with Vanessa Billy

Vanessa Billy, Cellular Memory (blood) and Cellular Memory (marine), 2020, Heliogravimetry, each 60 x 49 cm.

In our new podcast we speak in English with Vanessa Billy. The artist, who lives in Zürich, was awarded the Werkjahr of the city of Zürich in 2020. For Edition VFO, Billy has created two color-contrasting heliogravures. In the podcast you can learn more about the subject, the colors and the work with a technique that is new to Billy.


Listen to the podcast from January 13 on our Soundcloud profile.

Vanessa Billy's edition features a silicone cast of a shrimp. This crustacean aroused Billy's interest several years ago because the ancient creature evokes the beginnings of evolutionary history and its shape is reminiscent of parts of the body or the early stages of human life. The artist has already worked on this motif in other media, such as video, aluminum reliefs or sculptural installations.

Vanessa Billy, Old Flesh, 2013, Aluminium. Foto © Aurélien Mole.

In today's age, shrimps stand above all for industrially farmed delicacies enriched with artificial substances. They symbolize the constantly growing intervention of man in nature. The combination of organic-biological elements with artificial materials runs like a thread through Billy's work. In this respect, it is not surprising that Billy has chosen the medium of heliogravure, in which a wide variety of substances come into play and are processed in complex processes.

Vanessa Billy, Centipedes, 2020, silicone and plastic tube. Photo © Zoe Tempestaus.

Together with the printer Arno Hassler, the artist tested and investigated the effect of different color combinations. The special image quality of the heliogravures underscores the archaic, scientific aura of Billy's photography. With Mémoire Cellulaire(cellular memory), Billy evokes physical sensations associated with nature and physicality.

In the fall of 2021, Kunsthaus Pasquart in Biel will present a solo exhibition by Vanessa Billy.

Vanessa Billy, Ouroboros, 2020, polymer plaster, fiberglass. Photo © Zoe Tempest.