Le Plateau

NAMA OR NUMBER, a solo exhibition by Ulla von Brandenburg

Frac Ile-de-France/Le Plateau is pleased to be presenting, from 19 March–17 May 2009, Ulla von Brandenburg’s first solo exhibition in a French art institution. This is the opportunity for the young German artist to make use of the Le Plateau interior for a new project covering the many facets of her work.

Von Brandenburg’s 16mm films, drawings, wall-paintings, sculptures and performances add up to a singular oeuvre turning on the issues of representation – of illusion, even – which, using an aesthetic drawing directly on a certain lighthearted late-19th century combination of black magic, spiritualism and psychoanalysis, she subtly pinpoints so as to give us a clearer view of the present.

In this context the many ghosts scattered through her work evoke the birth of the photographic image and the strange resurgence of the past that characterised it.


The exhibition begins with Curtain II, a broad drapery whose red and black trompe l’oeil diamond shapes are somewhat reminiscent of Harlequin’s costume.

And so the visitor actually engages physically with the Le Plateau space, like an actor coming on stage.

This link with the world of theatre recurs in Publikum, a wall-painting on two opposite walls showing a mirror-image of spectators watching a stage; in Forest III, simultaneously the front and back of a wrap-around set which the visitor can actually enter; and in the film 8, a loop at the heart of an installation which allows us to play with a new time/space relationship.

This exhibition at Le Plateau also offers works created specifically for the occasion, notably the 16mm film Singspiel, shot in february 2009 at Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. This minimalist musical comedy in

a modernist architectural setting presents men and women who doubtless have a shared history, but one we can only seize fragments of. Caught in everyday activities in near-empty rooms, the characters are systematically set in movement by the arrival of the camera, then move out of shot, becoming no more than ghostly figures.


For Le Plateau, as for all her exhibitions, Ulla von Brandenburg has also published a newspaper, in this case a facsimile of an early-20th century picture book.


Exhibition curator: Xavier Franceschi


Slide show