"Un'estate con Meret oppenheim" working title “CASA COSTANZA. Meeting Meret Oppenheim”
This series was taken at Casa Costanza, Meret Oppenheim’s holiday house located in the heart of the historical town of Carona (Lugano) in Switzerland. The house, once bought by her grandparents, the Wengers, has stayed in the family and still testifies today to Meret’s architectural interventions and work.
Casa Costanza is deeply intertwined with the Wenger - Oppenheim family history. Originally from Bern, the family bought this “palazzetto” as a vacation house in 1917. From that point on, the house has hosted very special guests and visitors. Some important figures in the arts and the intelligentsia of the XIX and XX centuries came to visit the Wenger - Oppenheim in Carona.
With the agreement of her siblings, Casa Costanza was meticulously restored and reorganized by Meret Oppenheim in 1967 – 68. In her letters, the artist speaks of her complete dedication to the making of an art project: giving a new life to Casa Costanza, turning it into the place she had been dreaming of for years. The result of her efforts is surprising: the Surrealist artist created a place where her interventions dialogue with the original building and the history of those who lived there. It is a house - work of art, a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), as Meret Oppenheim defined it.
Susanna Pozzoli creates an homage to this enchanted place in which Meret Oppenheim’s presence is still tangible thanks to the engagement of her heirs. This story is evoked by Pozzoli’s photographs of the interior of Casa Costanza along with some short texts related to their content and coming from interviews. The project invites the viewer to visit Casa Constanza from a special point of view.
Susanna Pozzol visited and photographed the house in different moments of the year while studying the Surrealist artist's life and reading her letters and poetry. Her photographs capture the relation between the robust architecture and Meret Oppenheim’s artistic sensitivity when making choices (of colors paint, placement, art pieces) to renovate the place.
Pozzoli guides the viewer inside Casa Costanza, proposing a very intimate, enlightened and selective look. Her intention is to evoke the Surrealist artist’s presence and action instead of documenting the space and the objects she selected and placed in the space.
The color analog photographs are realized using a medium square format film camera and are characterized by the exclusive use of natural light.
This projetc has been conceived as an exhibition and a book.
A selection of 30 photographs has been exposed at the MART Museum in Rovereto for the 8th edition of the VAF Foundation Prize, Susanna Pozzoli being one of the finalists. 15 photographs entered the VAF Collection.
In October 2021 the book was published by Manfredi Editori /Imola, Italy) as the first of a new series by VAF Stiftung foundation. Un'estate con Meret Oppenheim includes extracts from the interviews with the family: Birgit (Meret Oppenheim’s sister in law), Lisa and Michael Wenger (niece and nephew), and with the architect Aurelio Galfetti who worked alongside Meret on the restoration. Bice Curiger and Jacqueline Burckhardt also share their memories as guests in Casa Costanza and close friends of the artist. The reader will also find some extracts from Meret Oppenheim’s letters as well as exerps from the guest book.
Art historian Barbara Stehle’s essay analyzes Pozzoli's artistic process underlying the link between the two female artists. An interview to the author by Volker W. Feierabend tells us the story of this long-lasting project. Feierabend is the director of VAF Stiftung a German foundation supporting Italian contemporary artists which published this book as the first of a new series by Manfredi (IT).
Susanna Pozzoli “Un’estate con Meret Oppenheim”
Texts by: Susanna Pozzoli, Barbara Stehle, Volker W. Feierabend
Editorial project by Susanna Pozzoli; graphic realization by Stéfani de Loppinot
Language: Italian, French, English
Technical info: 213 pages, 24 x 28 cm, Sewn Binding, Hard Cover
Publisher: Manfredi Edizioni; VAF Stiftung editorial series, October 2021