The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, September 20, 2019

Secession opens Ulla von Brandenburg's first solo exhibition in Austria
Ulla von Brandenburg, Innen ist nicht Außen. Installation view Secession 2013. Photo: Wolfgang Thaler.

VIENNA.- In her films, drawings, and installations, German artist Ulla von Brandenburg explores how things are staged and made theatrical, the relationship between audience and actors, the rules of performance, and the overlap between reality and illusion. In her first solo exhibition in Austria, Innen ist nicht Außen [Inside Is Not Outside], Ulla von Brandenburg is showing her new film Die Straße [The Street] as part of an installation which she created specially for Secession’s main gallery.

The black-and-white film Die Straße shows a man entering an unfamiliar village community where he is confronted with the rituals and conventions governing the villagers’ social interaction. In a single, uncut tracking shot, the camera, like a third person, follows the actors' performances, staged by von Brandenburg in an ephemeral Potemkin village made of white canvases in the open air.

“He enters another world and tries to understand the various goings-on that strike him as foreign. It’s as if he were time-traveling, although it’s not quite clear what sort of temporal context he has landed in, and there is no real development in the sequence of events.” (Ulla von Brandenburg, interview with Nina Möntmann)

The stylized film set, the mysterious rituals that govern the performers’ interactions, and their alternating singing lends the film a particular poetry.

Die Straße represents a logical development in Ulla von Brandenburg's work. Her early black-and-white films feature seemingly motionless tableaux of people performing minimal actions; they explore ritualized behavioral patterns and the relationship between reality and illusion. One typical example is her film 8 from 2007, in which the camera moves through suites of rooms in a Baroque French castle, encountering individuals or groups of people who perform enigmatic gestures, laden with meaning. Her film Shadowplay (2012) also addresses the doubling inherent in acting and the tension between directed performance, identification with the role, and the performer's own identity. A woman and two men meet in a theater dressing room; they put on their costumes and their makeup, get into character and start dueling.

For her films Ulla von Brandenburg often develops presentations tailored specifically to the exhibition space, which establish a dense web of cultural and historical references. In the Secession the situation portrayed in the film of an entry into another world is doubled in the architectural space of the Hauptraum by the complex stage construction that the artist has installed as a sort of gateway to the film projection. The viewers enter this stage from behind and move across it, through a series of curtains and backdrops, on their way towards the auditorium, before reaching the film behind the final curtain. Ulla von Brandenburg uses these various theater curtains, platforms, and viewing levels to initiate a play with notions of onstage and offstage, outside and inside, that ultimately confront viewers with themselves and their own role. In his catalogue text René Zechlin describes this central feature of her works as follows:

“Ulla von Brandenburg's references to the theater repeatedly lead us back to the fundamental questions of our existence and society: Who are we? What roles do we play? What position are we given through our roles? In her work, too, it is impossible to leave the theater of life without questioning one's existence. In her film-based allegories and installations she allows the scenography and setting of the performance metaphorically to come to light. She gives us a view behind the scenes without compromising the allure of her own game.” (René Zechlin, catalogue text)

As is often the case in Ulla von Brandenburg’s work, the curtain is a means of marking the transition from the real world to the world of the theater, a mental space ruled by the imagination, dreams, and the unconscious, where space and time have no limits. In her installation in the Secession this is particularly emphasized by the final red-orange curtain. Its faded pattern corresponds with the ceiling grid of the exhibition space and thus points to the site-specificity of the work as well describing a further projection of light and shadow in the traces of the sun.

Today's News

September 26, 2013

Major exhibition opening at the Louvre deals with the genesis of the Renaissance

New galleries open at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Benin Kingdom & Art of the English Regency

Léger masterpiece, acquired through additional gift from Leonard A. Lauder, now on view at Metropolitan

Pink Star: Flawless $60-million pink diamond up for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva

"Nothing But Time: Paul Thek Revisited 1964-1987" opens at Pace Gallery in London

Fall exhibition at the Boston Athenæum explores new acquisitions in painting and sculpture since 2000

Trumbull's iconic Portrait of Alexander Hamilton now on view at Metropolitan Museum

Hollywood collection gets star billing in Antiquities Saleroom's Oct. 10-11 Ancient & Pre-Columbian Art Auction

"Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting" opens at Berkeley Art Museum

Exceptional Ansel Adams photographs on offer at Bonhams' Madison Avenue galleries in New York

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art mourns loss of philanthropist and collector Marion Bloch

Energetic new works by Jonas Wood on view at Anton Kern Gallery in New York

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents "Paulina Olowska: Au Bonheur des Dames"

Solo exhibition of sculptural and installation work by Adam Belt on view at Quint Contemporary Art

Largest collection of Dali works in London for decades to go under the hammer

"Still Lifes" by Marianna Gartner on view at Galerie Michael Haas in Berlin

Secession opens Ulla von Brandenburg's first solo exhibition in Austria

Sumarria Lunn Gallery exhibits the work of Meekyoung Shin

Walk on the Wild Side: David Spiller debuts at the Portland Gallery

Bonhams to offer important treasures from Bay Area and international collections

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful