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Ursula Biemann

2007-11-25 to 2008-01-20

Ursula Biemann, an artist, theorist and curator, has in recent years produced a considerable body of work on migration, mobility, technology and gender. Her video projects have been represented in a series of international exhibitions, as well as in several books.

Bildmuseet’s presentation includes three large-scale video installations, SAHARA CHRONICLE (2006–2007), BLACK SEA FILES (2005) and CONTAINED MOBILITY (2004) as well as a compilation of earlier works available as a computer archive displaying the video essays, Performing the Border (1999), Writing Desire (2000), Remote Sensing (2001) and EUROPLEX (2003).


SAHARA CHRONICLE is a video collection documenting the present sub-Saharan exodus towards Europe. Bildmuseet presents a selection of five films, DESERT TRUCK TERMINAL, DESERT RADIO DRONE, INTERVIEW ADAWA, ALGERIAN BORDERLANDS and DEPORTATION PRISON LAAYOUNE. These works examine the politics of mobility and containment, which lies at the heart of current global geopolitics, through taking a close look at the modalities and logistics of the migration system in the Sahara region.


BLACK SEA FILES, a video essay in ten parts, is a territorial research on the Caspian oil geography: the world’s oldest oil extraction zone. A giant new subterranean pipeline traversing the Caucasus will soon pump Caspian Crude to the West. The line connecting the resource fringe with the terminal of the global high-tech oil circulation system, runs through the video like a central thread. However, the trajectory followed by the narrative is by no means a linear one. Circumventing the main players in the region, the video sheds light on a multitude of secondary sceneries.


CONTAINED MOBILITY, a synchronized double video, looks at the present condition emerging from the changes that occur in and around the regulations of movements to Europe with a focus on the sophisticated methods and technologies which have been developed on either side: on the part of the authorities to discipline the movement of goods and people and on the part of the passengers to outwit the restrictions and achieve mobility and security. 

SAHARA CHRONICLE is part of the project Port City conducted by ARNOLFINI in Bristol and supported by the European Union. The text is a free transcription from Ursula Biemann’s website.