Born in Germany, Häussler studied sculpture and conceptual art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under Heribert Sturm.
Early on, her perception of “sculpture” would consider the context, e.g. the architectural, social and historic space of origin and destination. This led her to create site-specific installations, of which her immersive environments of fictitious legacies are most known in the artworld.
These three-dimensional stories revolve around fictitious characters and their unexpected artistic legacies. Beginning with detailed biographies, the material evidence of their obsessive lives and works are researched, gathered and made into dense installations. In this process Häussler draws from her own studio-work as well as from conversations and consultations with professionals and local experts from many fields, like historians, urbanists, architects, film-makers... and includes their contributions in the final presentations.
At the presentation stage, visitors encounter unsettling environments in domestic dwellings, historical houses and in museums spaces. They are invited to form their own interpretations of the lives of Häussler’s characters by piecing together the clues they get from the artefacts and through guided tours. Visitors would often later refer to their experience as “walking through a novel in three dimensions”.
Because Häussler is interested in the fragile boundaries between fiction and reality, she often does not immediately reveal her authorship nor that these installations are contemporary artworks.
Häussler’s work is shown internationally. She was a stipendiary of the Kunstfonds (Bonn) and won the Karl Hofer Prize 1999 (Berlin). In 2010 she was invited on the Cape Farewell (UK) High Arctic Expedition. Since her immigration to Canada she received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
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Iris Häussler is a member of:
VG Bild-Kunst r.V.
Iris Haeussler is a member of CARFAC