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Photographer Cornelia Hediger came to Harlem via Switzerland, yet feels more at home here. This is no surprise– as an artist, Ms. Hediger is no stranger to strong contrasts and dualities. Her composite photographs begin with a sketch that plays out a narrative between the main character and her doubles. Ms. Hediger plays all parts, and shoots it on film, noting that she’s the only one with enough patience to model in the complex images that seduce and unnerve as psychological portraits. Ms. Hediger is as close to the garret-dwelling hermit artist as you are likely to find in NYC. The tiny apartment where she lives with her pet guinea pig gets a fresh coat of paint for each new photograph, and is stuffed with props. She finds inspiration in the postures of people on the subway, often sketching on the train as while observing body language. The more telling gestures are sometimes appropriated for her photographs. While teaching photography at he Fashion Institute of Technology, she scrapes by with as little as she can, in order to have more resources for her artwork.

Gallery co-owner Debra Klomp Ching: “Every now and again one encounters artwork that literally takes your breath away, that causes a physical response, excites your entire being and challenges your visual perception and intellectual inquiry. This is the immediate response I had to Cornelia Hediger’s photography. She is committed to the making of her artwork, to expressing herself visually and technically – almost to the point of obsession. Her artwork is her life and her life is her artwork. She lives and breathes it.”

To create her multi-panel images, Ms. Hediger shoots each panel separately as a single photo, then digitally fits six or more together in a grid as one composition. An average of 120 images are shot for each six-panel image. The result is a fragmented figure in which objects grow and shrink from different angles and proportions in a single frame. Ms. Hediger’ show at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood opened last night, and will run through October 21st, 2011. All images courtesy Cornelia Hediger/Klompching Gallery.

Doppelgänger II, 05.18.09

Doppelgänger II, 02.22.09

Doppelgänger II, 10.03.08

Doppelgänger II, 11/27.08

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I reckon it’s pretty easy to make a good music video for Charlotte Gainsbourg – surely all you have to do is cast the French beauty as her own lead and her magnetism will do the rest. Natahalie Canguilham has followed the rule and then some – surrounding the singer with numerous doppelgangers for a multi-storey dance-off, and the results are wonderful.

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