Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to present Wagon Wheel: an exhibition of new works by critically acclaimed artist Ulla von Brandenburg.
Ulla von Brandenburg works in a diverse range of media to create complex, multi-layered narratives that investigate the thresholds that exist between reality and artifice. Working with film; drawing; installation, and performance, von Brandenburg engages with popular cultural forms from multiple epochs as a means to explore contemporary collective experience. Working within seemingly archaic traditions, von Brandenburg appropriates historical source material and transforms it into the present to tacitly reveal the rules that govern our social reality.
For her first exhibition at Pilar Corrias Gallery, von Brandenburg will transform the upper gallery with a labyrinthine installation of hand-made quilts. Created in response to time spent in Memphis earlier this year, these new works take the African American patchwork quilts used in the Underground Railroad as a point of departure. During the 19th Century, these quilts were encoded with vital information on how to proceed on the secret network to freedom, instructing slaves on how to prepare to escape and continue in their flight from the colonies of the New World. For example, the Wagon Wheel pattern to which the exhibition refers signalled slaves to pack up their tools in preparation for the long journey ahead.
Just as the encoded quilts functioned as both metaphors and signs, so von Brandenburg's abstract magnifications of quilt patterns guide the viewer on their passage through the gallery. The journey culminates in a new 16 mm film shown here for the very first time. Shot in Paris this autumn this silent meditation charts our passage through life exploring the obstacles we face and resolutely overcome. Viewed alongside the seven irregularly hung quilts, the film creates a dialogue with the quilts forming a visual language that loops back on itself endlessly repeating and developing.
Ulla von Brandenburg was born in 1974 in Karlsruhe, Germany. She received her MA from Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions of the artist's work include: Frac Ile-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris (2009); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2009); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2008); Kunstverein, Düsseldorf (2007); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006), and Kunsthalle Zürich (2006). Recent group exhibitions include Fare Mondi 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2009); Torino Triennale '50 Moons of Saturn', Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo; Palazzina della Societa Promotrice delle Belle Arti, Turin (2008); Yokohama Triennale (2008;) Biennale Jerusalem 2008; Performa 07, Performa, New York (2007); The World as a Stage, Tate Modern, London (2007), and Against Time, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2007). The artist has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Kunstpreis der Böttcherstrasse in Bremen (2007), and Arbeitsstipendium Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung (2006).
Ulla von Brandenburg lives and works in Paris.