Since 2009, Iris Haussler has produced the complete oeuvre of unknown French painter Sophie La Rosiere who died in 1948. In fact, Haussler has created an artistic persona - a heteronym - through which to channel this fictitious artist's secrets, while at the same time fabricating a biography for her and an elaborate back story of a hidden erotic liaison that intersects with real people, historical events and actual artistic movements. The paintings are merely a kernel within the larger shell of La Rosiere's life circumstances, which includes the recreation of her studio, its products and detritus, and the elements of a forensic investigation that tries to answer the questions, after the paintings' discovery, of why these paintings were abandoned, why they were concealed by a layer of black encaustic and, ultimately, what secrets they conceal. Following the spirit of the overall project, this book includes a catalogue raisonne of all Sophie La Rosiere's 293 works, forensic evidence, expert analyses, and official reports. Iris Haussler is a German-born conceptual and installation artist, who lives and works in Toronto, Canada.She consistently works with immersive installations that revolve around fictitious stories.
Beginning with detailed biographies of invented characters, she builds the material evidence of their obsessive lives and works. This results in unsettling site-specific environments in domestic dwellings, historical houses and museum spaces.