April 29, 2021

Ursula Biemann: Becoming Earth

Museum of Art at the National University of Colombia

Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean (still), 2018.

Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean (still), 2018.

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law (still), 2014.

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law (still), 2014.

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law (still), 2014.

Ursula Biemann, Deep Weather (still), 2013.

Ursula Biemann, Subatlantic (still), 2015.

Ursula Biemann, Egyptian Chemistry (still), 2012.

Ursula Biemann & María Belén Sáez de Ibarra with Rosi Braidotti, Marisol de la Cadena, Hélène Guenin, Elizabeth Povinelli, and many others

Online launch program
Deep Weather & Acoustic Ocean screening: 12:30pm Bogotá / 1:30pm New York / 7:30pm Zurich
Artist & guests live discussion: 1pm Bogotá / 2pm New York / 8pm Zurich

Please join us for a special online launch event with artist Ursula Biemann and curator María Belén Sáez de Ibarra in conversation with Emmanuel Alloa, Rosi Braidotti, Marisol de la Cadena, Kodwo Eschun, Hélène Guenin, Eduardo Kohn, Elizabeth Povinelli, and Paulo Tavares.

Hosted by the Museum of Art at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, the event will introduce the philosophies that have helped shape Biemann´s political-environmental art practice. In the current political climate of Colombia, it is critical to connect the ecological crisis with histories and legacies of colonialism, as well as to acknowledge Indigenous efforts for safeguarding the forest, and connect these struggles with a generative, eco-centric paradigm for international action.

Becoming Earth publication
The Becoming Earth platform makes freely available, for the first time, a comprehensive collection of video works and related essays from the past decade of Biemann’s visionary production of novel ecologies of thought. The web-based presentation allows Biemann to connect the various grounded, site-sensitive microcosms that she has thoroughly researched through a series of novel video-essays that combine elements of documentary with her singular, speculative images of environmental science fiction. Perhaps more than ever, current events demonstrate the relevance and importance of Biemann’s complex vision, which explores the indelible connectedness of social and environmental issues while encouraging viewers to discover new ways of sensing, and thinking, these irreversible planetary transformations.

This monograph was commissioned by the Art Museum of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, designed by Mariana Hoyos and Studio El Altillo in Bogotá, and edited by Etienne Turpin. It is the result of Biemann’s long and ongoing conversations with cultural producers, curators, theorists, and the many knowledge bearers she has encountered during her research and on field trips and whose inspiring thoughts and generous gestures have gratefully made it into these works.

Artist biography
Ursula Biemann was born in 1955 in Zurich, Switzerland. Biemann crafts video narratives on the politics of environment, climate, and indigenous communities. She conducts fieldwork in remote locations and works the findings into multilayered video essays and spatial installations. Her video works are complex interweavings of vast cinematic landscapes with documentary footage, science fiction poetry, and scientific data that narrate changing planetary realities. Biemann practices an expanded notion of art which includes collaborative projects, research cooperations, and curatorial endeavours. Since 2018, in collaboration with the Inga people, she is involved in co-creating an Indigenous University in the South of Colombia, where different epistemic systems are brought into dialogue.

Recent solo exhibitions of Biemann’s work have been held at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice, France (2020), Centre Culturel Suisse CCS, Paris (2020), Broad Art Museum, Lansing, Michigan (2014), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2013), Lentos Museum Linz, Austria (2012), Bildmuseet Umeå, Sweden (2008), Helmhaus Zurich (2009), and Nikolaj Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2009). Her works contribute to major exhibitions in museums worldwide and have been included in art biennials in Istanbul (1997, 2007), Liverpool, UK (2004), Sevilla, Spain (2006), Gwangju, South Korea (2008), Shanghai (2008, 2018), Bamako, Mali (2009), Sharjah, UAE (2011), Montreal (2014), Thessaloniki, Greece (2015), São Paulo (2016) and Taipei (2018).

Her publications include the monograph Ursula Biemann Mission Reports—Artistic Practice in the Field (2008); The Maghreb Connection (2006); Stuff It, The Video Essay in the Digital Age (2003); and, Geography and the Politics of Mobility (2003).

Biemann is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix Meret Oppenheim—Swiss Grand Award for Art (2009), an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities, Swedish University Umeå (2008); the Prix Thun for Art and Ethics (2018), International Art and Media Award, ZKM (2002), and the Prix Palmarès Biennale of the Moving Image, Geneva (1999).

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.