Iris Sara Schiller

1955 | Haifa, Israel
Informations

Israeli sculptor and videographer.

After studying at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Iris Sara Schiller moved to Paris. Her work combines sculpture, photography, video, drawing and text. With passion and lucidity, she confronts questions that haunt us, transgressing the taboos of birth, sexuality, family ties and mourning. She began with sculpture: first using terracotta, then wood; they give birth to organic, sensual forms, evoking Hans Arp and his biomorphic eroticism of fertility. After this quest for truth that she found in natural elements, the artist introduced other techniques – cement, stone, resin – then plaster, which became her material of choice. “The use of body moulding appeared in response to the death of a loved one,” she explains. Her main focuses are now part of a “rite of mourning”, a state of mind that has provoked in her a new attitude towards the human body by legitimizing the effects and the appearance of the figurative object in her work (2002). To mould a human body – as one takes the imprint of a deceased face to keep the trace – the memory of the envelope of flesh, of this skin.

I. S. Schiller went from the core of beings to their envelope. What happens to the body after death? “In studying the Kabbalah, I discovered the enigmatic and seductive term Tselem: a subtle sheath that coats the soul” (2002). The question of the double, of feminine/masculine duality, is expressed in various ways in hybrid figures often combined or paired. I. S. Schiller seeks to give form to the fusional state of love – whether it be maternal, filial or fraternal– while questioning the projection of the self in the other. She often works with fragmented bodies, favouring arms, torsos, hearts and arteries. Plaster figures spread almost clinically across steel surgical tables, the suspended body of a girl, legs spread, the pierced chairs and basins evoking a cold and threatening world where strange ceremonies take place. In 2005 she won the Grand Prix of the 50th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival for her video La Tresse de ma mère (My mother’s braid), in which the hair, that of the mother and the daughter, plays a central role. Composed of violence and sensuality, this work is representative of I. S. Schiller’s approach, which combines archaic gestures with biographical memories.

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Marie-Laure Bernadac

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, La tresse de ma mère, 2003, video, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Sans titre, 2003, shooting the artist’s workshop – 2003, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Cnap, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Sans titre, 1995, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Cnap, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Eaux d’en haut, eaux d’en bas, 2008, video installation, © Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Manuel de survie, 2009, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Cnap, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Manuel de survie, 2009, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Cnap, © Iris Sara Schiller

Iris Sara Schiller — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Iris Sara Schiller, Manuel de survie, 2009, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Cnap, © Iris Sara Schiller

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