Contemporary/Sissa Micheli


"I am interested in the brief moment that is not perceptible to the naked eye. I arrest it, take it out of its movement and thus create sculptures of the moment. The focus is on the ephemeral, the uniqueness and the finiteness."
Sissa Micheli

Sissa Micheli questions the everyday and the familiar in a variety of photographs, video works and objects and opens up new perspectives. What can be perceived on the surface frequently refers to something else, something behind it, to a hidden story that can only be guessed at, to a riddle that can only be solved to a limited extent. Curious and inquiring, she approaches her fields of investigation and creates a sensual and enigmatic microcosm that moves between reality and fiction, past, present and future. Beyond their functional attribution, Micheli lends objects highly charged levels of meaning with surreal radiant power. Set against a black background in a highly dramatic manner, the photographs invite the viewers to continue the stories themselves, to find new meanings and interpretations. Staging the mise-en-scène is an essential part of Micheli’s work in general, the moving, dynamic image is a constant companion. Time and again, the artist blurs the boundaries between film, photography, and sculpture: she captures the smoke of a pipe photographically and transfers it to the floor as a large-scale carpet or transforms it as a lava-like mass into a surreal three-dimensional object. Using flying garments, she stages fascinating temporary sculptures that celebrate the ephemeral and transitory in a sensual and musical game. At the same time, the works also epitomise the basic characteristic of photography, to capture a moment and to freeze it visually in order to give it meaning. In the new triptych Scenarios of Existence created especially for this exhibition, mighty textiles reminiscent of animal heads or skulls hover in front of the face of a female figure. The human being, thrown into the world, is vulnerable, at the mercy of finite nature and of death.



Sissa Micheli was born in Bruneck in 1975. From 1994 to 2001 she studied English and Romance languages and literature at the University of Vienna, where she attended the School of Artistic Photography from 2000 to 2002. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. From 2004 to 2006 she was curator of the Schaugrund exhibition. In 2006 she met Louise Bourgeois in New York. From 2007 to 2011 she taught at the Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. She lives and works in Vienna.



Among the main solo shows we remember:

Ode to two Worlds, duo show with Thomas Riess, Galleria Alessandro Casciaro (I)

Mountain Pieces. Reflecting History, Galerie Estermann+Messner e Atelier Augarten, Vienna (A)
Tales of Change, Galerie Kritine Hamann, Wismar (D)
ON WAVELENGTHS, Sound-Gallery of Audioversum Science Centre, Innsbruck (A)

On Transient Phenomena, Galerie Estermann und Messner, Vienna (A)
Kunstforum Unterland (I)

LUMEN, Museum of Mountain Photography, Brunico (I)
Scenography of Existence, duo show with Jürgen Klauke, Gallery Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano (I)

Museum’s Rhapsody, Palais Mamming Museum, Merano (I)
On the verge of time, Festival of Photography Maribor (SL)
Ballad of Desires, Oberösterreichischer Kunstverein Linz (A)

Dolomieu Transpressured, Transart 2018, South Tyrol (I)

On the Process of Shaping an Idea into Form Through Mental Modelling, Gallery Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano (I)
The Ballad of Interacting Objects, Sotheby's Quarterly, Palais Wilczek, Vienna (A)
Metaphors for Survival II, Muratcentoventidue Artecontemporanea, Bari (I)

Dance of Diplomacy, Palais Metternich – Italienische Botschaft, Marcello Farabegoli Projects, Vienna (A)

The Unknown Knows, Austrian Cultural Forum, London (GB)
Art Theft Reversed, Facciata Mediale di Museion, Bolzano (I)

Ice Cream & Politics, Galleria Goethe 2, Bolzano (I)
Fade in the Past Cut!, Merano Arte, Merano (I)

One for All, Künstlerhaus, Vienna (A)


She also took part to several group exhibition: 

Dove una volta c'era il mare, CerModern, Ankara (TR)

CLOUDS, Muratcentoventidue, Bari (I)
Dove una volta c'era il mare, CerModern, Ankara (TR)

My favourite work, Gallery Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano (I)
MOUNTAIN PIECES. Reflecting History, CerModern Ankara (TR)
sinNe - Wahrnehmung_Ausnahme, Kunstverein MillstArt (A)
40 JAHRE, Fotogalerie, Vienna (A)

[K]EIN MENSCH IST EINE INSEL, Künstlerhaus, Vienna (A)

LOCKOUT, Fortezza Fortress (I)
unlearning categories, Museion, Bolzano (I)

Was Fotografie kann, NÖART 2019, Rathaus Gänserndorf (A)
Wohin geht die Reise - Alles ist Wechselwirkung, Künstlerforum Bonn (D)

Schau 5, Kunsthaus Kollitsch, Klagenfurt (D)
Writing the Mountains, Biennale Gherdeina VI, Ortisei (I)

Transition of Energy, Museum of Kymenlaasako kotka (FIN)
Ahead of the Game, Kunstverein Kärnten Klagenfurt (A)

Kunstbergfried Schloss Tirol, curated by Karl Craus (I)

Transition of Energy, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Bratislava (SK)

Born in the Dolomites, Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt (A)

PANORAMA 4 Neue Kunst in Südtirol, Forte di Fortezza (I)

Triennale Linz 1.0 Gegenwartskunst in Österreich, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz (A)

Tra-Monti, Gallery Museion, Manifesta7, Bolzano (I)
Fotografia Europea, Spazio Gerra, Reggio Emilia (I)

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