Ulla von Brandenburg: Neue Alte Welt review
- Talitha Kotzé
- 20 April 2011
The German artist's 'Chorspiel' provides a mesmerising centrepiece to this exhibition
German artist Ulla von Brandenburg’s exhibition Neue Alte Welt (New Old World) consists of three parts: a short film, a wall painting of a theatre hall, and a collection of objects that act as theatrical props.
‘Chorspiel’ is part-opera, part-performance, part beautifully shot black-and-white film. A family of four – an elderly woman, an elderly man, a middle-aged woman and a young woman – are visited by a young man, the Wanderer. Trapped in a situation unknown to the viewer, as if under a spell in a folk legend, the characters act with purpose, but without sensibility. The Wanderer, a solitary figure on a quest for fulfilment, arrives with a closed box, perhaps a symbol of hope to break the spell and to set them free. What unfolds seems cyclical and we are not sure to what extent the young man is implicated in this entrapment.
Still mesmerised by the accomplished film, we wander upstairs to find a collection of objects. Some make links with the film, but others seem far removed and break the spell.
The Common Guild, Glasgow, until Sat 21 May.