Mathis Gasser


After noticing that the same landscape painting, Mountain Scene (1880–1890) by Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt, appeared in different scenes in both nineteenth-century period drama The Age of Innocence (1993) and the science-fiction dystopian feature The Hunger Games (2012), Mathis Gasser has reproduced the painting twice at its original scale, to emphasize its position as a marker of power and status in fictional pasts and futures. These images are anchored by a reel of “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” footage from a recent television adaptation of The Man in the High Castle, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. The secret reels become a plot driver in the narrative, depicting an alternate reality to the one the characters are living in: a world in which the Axis powers won the Second World War, but the footage in which the Allied forces won the war depicts another alternate present.


Mathis Gasser (1984, Zurich) lives and works in London, UK. His work has been exhibited in solo and two-persons exhibitions held at venues such as the Swiss Institute New York, USA (2021); Josey, Norwich, UK (2020); RIBORDY THETAZ, Geneva, Switzerland (2019); Haus zur Liebe, Schaffhausen, Switzerland (2019); Weiss Falk, Basel, Switzerland (2018); Cell Project Space, London, UK (2018); Centre culturel suisse in Paris (CCS), France (2017); Cordova Gallery, Barcelona, Spain (2017); Chewday’s, London (2017); Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland (2017); Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland (2016); Piper Keys, London (2016); WallRiss Espace d’Art, Fribourg, Germany (2016); Xippas Gallery, Paris, France (2016); Hester, New York (2015), and Union Pacific Projects, London (2015).