New York, NY (November 19, 2013) – Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art is pleased to announce the screening of Shadowplay (2012) by Ulla von Brandenburg on High Line Channel 14, a series of outdoor projections of art videos in the semi-enclosed passageway on the High Line at West 14th Street. Shadowplay will be on view daily from Thursday, December 5, 2013 through Wednesday, January 22, 2014, from 4:00 PM until the park closes.
Ulla von Brandenburg makes drawings, videos, performances, and installations that focus on the theme of theater as a fictional construct. In her installations, von Brandenburg often screens her video works within constructed architectural environments that reference the dramatic arts, such as Harlequin-patterned tents or cascading red curtains. Her videos often resemble tableaux vivants, a popular form of entertainment in nineteenth-century Europe. By employing the theatrical vocabulary of fin-de-siècle Europe and infusing it with romantic angst, von Brandenburg creates a critical commentary of the anxieties and uncertainties of contemporary society through the lens of history.
For the High Line, von Brandenburg presents her video Shadowplay. The black-and-white work depicts a shadow theater, featuring two men and a woman in nineteenth-century costume that move behind a screen. Rather than speak or act, they lip-synch to the singing of an off-stage choir, producing a feeling of remove and alienation. The poetic song lacks narrative progression, yet is infused with melancholic subtext. Shadowplay diverges from traditional shadow puppetry in that the silhouetted characters are actually real actors. Screened in the semi-enclosed 14th Street Passage, Shadowplay emphasizes the threshold between reality and fiction.
“Ulla von Brandenburg is such a talented artist,” says Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art. “She has the ability of transforming a very simple act – like a shadow theater – into an evocative tableau brought to life by a haunting music which will turn the 14th Street Passage into a space of contemplation.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ulla von Brandenburg (b. 1974, Germany) lives and works in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Secession, Vienna (2013); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2013); Pilar Corrias, London (2012); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2009); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); and Kunstverein, Düsseldorf (2007). Recent group exhibitions include Film as Sculpture, WIELS, Brussels (2013); 1966-79, Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne (2013); Tools for Conviviality, The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Intense Proximité, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Secret Societies. To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence, CAPC Bordeaux (2011); Un’Espressione Geografica, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2011); and the Biennale de Lyon, Lyon (2011).
ABOUT HIGH LINE ART
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art presents a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art, and produced by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, history, and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Major support for High Line Art comes from Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and the Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, with additional funding provided by David Zwirner Gallery, and Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
ABOUT THE HIGH LINE AND FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.
For further information on High Line Art, please visit art.thehighline.org.