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Box No. 22

Ulla Von Brandenburg /Germany/France/
spatial and video installation

Shot in Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Ulla von Brandenburg’s new film, Singspiel, continues the artist’s investigation of the mechanics of theater, the exploration of constructed behavior through performance, and the significance of gesture, with special emphasis on the formal aspects of staging as well as uneasy or unexpressed psychological states. In this film, she constructs a series of evocative episodes that revolve around a group of people – presumably  a family – and a set of encounters whose meaning is encoded in symbolic, slightly absurd gestures. Singspiel (2009) is filmed in one single tracking shot, „surveying“ the characters through the rooms of the house. Each gesture provides a clue to the story that unfolds before our eyes. There is a pervading sense of unease. The Savoye family’s experience of the villa was not that of a „machine for ideal living“, as Le Corbusier had hoped. Singspiel refers to this lesser-known history of the villa, hinting at the human cracks and fissures that „inhabit“ this seemingly perfect space. Instead of bearing witness to an uplifting sensation, which was the lofty goal of the architecture, one senses anxiousness and uncertainty. The title Singspiel refers to a form of musical drama and also the song that the family performs in a scene where its members congregate around a table for coffee, which heightens the slightly tragic undertone and a sense of the bizarre. Situated in between painting, photography, cinema, performance, and theater, Brandenburg’s practice is as richly layered as it is distinctive and engaging. Singspiel intrigues our mind and haunts our memory, while its imagery remains imprinted in our consciousness.

Bio: Ulla von Brandenburg works with different media such as drawing, video, film, space installation, and performance. She is born in Karlsruhe and currently lives and works in Paris.

Selection of her works:
2010 Neue Alte Welt, Art: Concept, Paris, France
2009 Name or Number, Le Plateau - FRAC* Ile de France, Paris

Group shows:
A Geographical Expression, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy
2010 Cut, Scherenschnitte 1970 – 2010, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Galerie der Gegenwart, Hamburg, Germany;
Fast Forward 2, The Power of Motion, Media Art Sammlung Goetz, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; WYSTAWA, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland; K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany


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