Artist Talk With Ursula Biemann: Unstable Atmospheres

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law by Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares, 2014, Video still, Courtesy the Artist

To kick off the opening reception of Beyond 2°, join us for a special talk from exhibiting artist Ursula Biemann.

Based on comprehensive research, the artist elaborates in her video works the far-reaching territorial and climatic transformations due to the extraction and engineering of resources, drawing attention to the social and biological micro-dynamics at work in these massive physical encroachments. Her recent fieldwork has taken her to the Amazon and the Arctic region. Engaging with the political ecology of oil, ice and water, the artist interweaves vast cinematic landscapes with documentary footage, SF poetry and academic findings to narrate a changing planetary reality. Discussing her artistic practice in the projects Subatlantic and Forest Law, Biemann particularly raises questions regarding the entanglement of aesthetics, ecology, and geopolitics.


Biemann has had solo exhibitions at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k., Bildmuseet Umea in Sweden, Nikolaj Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, Helmhaus Zurich, Lentos Museum Linz, and at film festivals FID Marseille and TEK Rome. Her work also contributed to major exhibitions at the Arnolfini Bristol; Tapies Foundation Barcelona; Museum of Fine Arts Bern; LACE, Los Angeles, KIASMA Helsinki, San Francisco Art Institute; Jeu de Paume Paris; Kunstverein Hamburg; the Biennials in Gwangju, Shanghai, Liverpool, Bamako, Istanbul, Montreal, Thessaloniki, and Sevilla; Kunstmuseum Graz; Flaherty Film Seminars, NY and many others. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts (1986), NY, and pursued postgraduate studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program (ISP). Currently, she is a senior researcher at the Zurich University of the Arts. The artist is appointed Doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea (2008) and received the 2009 Prix Meret Oppenheim, the national art award of Switzerland. She is on the board of the academic journal Geo-Humanities and is a member of the Zurich art commission.

  • March 12, 2016
  • 6:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The main galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

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