Basel-resident Anna Winteler (b. 1954, Lausanne) has, since the early 1980s, been among the most significant Swiss video and performance artists. She has had an enduring influence on the scene, with many younger artists responding directly or indirectly to her – no exhibition on Swiss video or performance art omits her work. Her work has equally been valued abroad, with great interest in the 1980s and ‘90s in particular.
Born in Lausanne in 1954 and grown up in Perreux/Canton Neuenburg, as a young woman she completed training in music and in dance in particular. Subsequently she went to London, Cannes, Stuttgart and Paris in the early 1970s before she moved to Basel in 1978. Winteler’s very first video work Le Petit Déjeuner sur la Route d’après Manet from 1979 drew significant attention. Placing herself in front of the lens, the artist walks, in the early hours of the morning, in a line from Basel’s Mittleren Rheinbrücke to the Wettsteinbrücke bridges, upstream and against the current, dispensing with her strikingly feminine clothing as she does so.
Any given work by Anna Winteler is based on a precise concept, though they are not rehearsed, repeated or indeed corrected. The shooting location, the people acting – generally alone – in front of the camera, the setting and the camera movement which either she or a camera operator, often Reinhard Manz, deals with – are defined once. There are scarcely any edits. The experience of real time is essential in Anna Winteler’s video works, not least so that this physical element is accessible to the viewer. Often a subject is parsed in several works before she moves on to a new one. It seems logical that she does not repeat herself. There is no look backwards.
[edited from Ines Goldbach / Kunsthaus Baselland]