A comprehensive exhibition at the Kunstverein Hannover is dedicated to the complex and distinctive style of Ulla von Brandenburg. In her films, installations, performances and drawings, Von Brandenburg uses methods and approaches from theater to deal with social and historical questions. The boundary between actor and viewer, reality and illusion becomes blured through aspects of stage and theatre which act as metaphors for human interaction.
Films are, on the whole, at the centre of Ulla von Brandenburg’s work. These are often integrated into an overall performance with theatre curtains, architecture and mural drawings. The viewer enters the stage-like installation and is drawn into the surreal setting of the film. The dialogue present in the black and white films, as well as the puzzling scenes and plots contain a multitude of cultural and historic references to the way in which questions are raised socially.
Mirrors and shadows are central themes in the work of Ulla von Brandenburg. She uses both in various ways, including in the form of silhouettes and shadows which are so characteristic of her work. Through these techniques she explores the levels of reality and the boundaries between existene and appearance. Mirrors in themselves are a reocurring symbol, both for the visual and the performing arts, and because of this a piece of theatre can be understood as an image that holds the “mirror“ in which we see the reality of our lives. Ulla von Brandenburg’s installations are allegories for the theatre as a symbol of life and for the complex link between theatre and reality, illusion and reflection. The artist gives us an view behind the stage of life, without destroying the appeal of individual plays. With every image, exposed by Von Brandenburg as illusion, shadow or reflection, a new, just as complex image is revealed. We experience the films and spacial installations as a set of mirrors, whose images reflect in several directions into other dimensions and the viewers finds themself at the centre of.
The newest film “The Street“ (2013) follows scenes on a street, which Brandernburg sets in the open air on an ephemeral background city consisting of white canvasses. In the exhibition of the Kunstverein Hannover, “The Street“ is made into a whole performance in several acts usinig previous films and installations. “Wagon Wheel“ (2009), “The Objects“ (2009), “Shadowplay“ (2012), “Self-Shadow“ (2013) and “Mirror Song“ (2012) submit to the mural works, designed for specific locations, and the spatial installations to create a comprehensive exhibition which highlights various aspects in previous works of Ulla von Brandenburg.
This exhibition has an accompanying catalogue, which is produce in cooperation with the Vienna Secession.