The title is borrowed from a Alfred Hitchcock movie from the year 1953, where a priest comes under suspicion of murder, but bound through confessional secret, he cannot disencumber himself. One of the paintings depicts the scene in which Montgomery Clift as young priest, listens to confession. With that ancient catholic motive the artist follows up on earlier works like the “Church of Blind Faith“,. Metamorphoses, double meaning, or better: ambiguity rules MH’s paintings and drawings with regard to content as well as form. At the first view you might see a loving couple, the next minute it could appear as an act of violence. Fairy tale depictions turn into abyss-like horror scenarios.
Painted on small, unassuming, faded, or polished little wood panels – which seem to be pieces of recycled wood, or found objects, if there weren’t the fat blurs or blobs of color, which swim on top of the glazed paintings, opening a new dimension.
The “confession” of the artist relates as well on themes and contents which originate in her biography, as well as on her metier: painting.
Hahner explores her Catholic upbringing in the small town of Bamberg in the heart of Germany. The church’s instructions, beliefs and rituals left her with an interest towards things dark and unknown. Hahner recalls vividly spending a particular sunny summer afternoon in a lush forest close to home. While exploring an area she’d never been through before, she stumbled across some ruins of a former summer residency for nuns. While exploring the remarkable setting, she discovered a small, white porcelain statue of the Virgin Mary, half-buried in the soil. She picked the statue up, hid it under her jacket and brought it home, where she found herself unable to show it to anyone; she felt she’d done something blasphemous. After several sleepless nights worrying about how to adequately care for the relic, she threw it in the trash. The custodial responsibility of owning a holy artifact had been too overwhelming.