Ulla von Brandenburg: Madrid & Melbourne

Ulla von Brandenburg displays her art in two exhibitions in Madrid and Melbourne, featuring the move Underwater theatre (2022). Plan your trip now!


This week, not only Ulla von Brandenburg’s new institutional solo exhibition, One-Sequence Spaces, opens in Madrid at Museo Reina Sofia (Palacio de Velázquez) – but also in Melbourne, Australia, at the National Gallery of Victoria the Triennial starts, where Ulla von Brandenburg will show her new film Underwater theatre (2022)including an installation and performances.

Ulla von Brandenburg

One-Sequence Spaces

Opening and Performance:
Thursday, 30 November 2023, 1 pm
1 December 2023–10 March 2024
Palacio de Velázquez, Retiro Park,
Madrid, Spain

The Palacio de Velázquez in the Retiro Park becomes the ideal context for a new installation by Ulla von Brandenburg, whereby visitors knowingly move deeper into the space and activate a staging that interweaves the individual and the collective, reminding us that life is a theatre in which everyone chooses the role they wish to play. On this occasion, the artist incorporates into the exhibition structure a selection of her films, most of which are recorded in a single long shot to encourage spectators to move through this new staging of spaces and overlapping stories. 

National Gallery of Victoria Triennial

Opening: Sunday, 3 December 2023
3 December 2023–7 April 2024
NGV International, Level 1
Melbourne, Australia

During a residency in Amiens, France, in 2022 Ulla von Brandenburg was inspired by the city’s century’s old tradition of marionette theatre, a type of theatre staged in untraditional public spaces to mock the rich and powerful. In her new film Underwater theatre (the French title is Un bal sous l’eau), commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, six actors, who regularly appear in von Brandenburg’s works, engage in a Brechtian play with marionette puppets acting as body-doubles.

Von Brandenburg’s recasting of this theatrical tradition in a deep-sea setting draws inspiration from the French writer, playwright and poet Jules Verne, who died in Amiens in 1905, and his novel Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues under The Seas). The marionettes sing in English, French and German, welcoming us, the audience into their hopes for a utopic future and aspirations for living, working and love. The hand-painted backdrop of the underwater scene is presented as part of the installation, bringing the film’s narrative and its setting into our collective experience.

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Header Image: Ulla von Brandenburg. Le milieu est bleu, Installation View, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2020. Photo: Aurélien Mole

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