Ulla von Brandenburg: Two Times Seven


Film, installation, painting, sculpture...

Ulla von Brandenburg: Two Times Seven

Past: April 8 → May 13, 2017

Curtains, quilts, costumes, ribbons… Fabric, or more precisely textile material, circulates and permeates Ulla von Brandenburg’s oeuvre, indiscriminately embedding characters and spaces within its aesthetic qualities. Operating modes, patterns and scales may change, but the textile presence is invariably reaffirmed. Beyond the play of materials, the aesthetic qualities and the spatial possibilities it offers, fabric is privileged by the artist for its place and role in the history of human civilization, seen through its most pragmatic functions as well as through the most highly symbolic ones. As socio-cultural, political and religious marker, it naturally connects Ulla von Brandenburg’s major themes: the worlds of theatre, folklore, and ritual.

Here it is more than ever celebrated and declined in all its aspects. In the first place, a film that presents a succession of veils or dresses of undetermined origin, opening one after the other to the passage of an absent but implicitly present body. A body signaled by an almost ghostly movement and by the voice of the soundtrack that recites and chants the letters of a poem by Wislawa Szymborska’s (1923, Kórnik -2012, Krakow) in its German translation1. Propelled in the reality of an exhibition space, these fabrics are spread out or fixed to the walls. Here again, a double movement of presence and absence can be perceived. Some have been previously dyed, leaving traces of their artisanal coloring on the ground; others, on the contrary, have been discolored by chlorine, thus revealing — in a process not far from that of the photogram — the imprint of a human-scale body movement. But what bodies, what movements are we talking about? Perhaps those of the characters, all issued from the world of theatre and performance, depicted on the watercolors on wood.

The shroud of mystery is beginning to lift, but not entirely. By means of metaphorical operations or chemical processes, each of these pieces seems to complement and fill in the voids of a text with holes, while only partially revealing their truth. The fabrics of the film succeed each other but do not open on anything other than more fabrics; the ones hanging on the wall evoke doors leading to another space but remain basically impassable. They question the nature of truth. Not saying that its search is vain, but perhaps signifying that it resides more in an infinite quest.


1 « Ich klopfe an der Eingaugstur des Steins. — « Ich bins, lass mich Venir » — « Ich habe keine Tür », Sagt der Stein » (“I knock at the stone’s front door. — “It’s only me, let me come in.” — “I don’t have a door” says the stone.”) in Wislawa Szymborska, Sól, 1962.

Julia Mossé / Translation Frieda Schumann
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

4 passage Sainte-Avoye

75003 Paris

T. 01 53 60 90 30 — F. 01 53 60 90 31



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The artist