Ursula Biemann is an artist, theorist and curator who has in recent years produced a considerable body of work on migration, mobility, technology and gender. She studied at Bellas Artes in Mexico and School of Visual Arts in New York, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. In a series of internationally exhibited video projects, as well as in several books, Been there and back to nowhere (2000), Stuff It - The Video Essay in the Digital Age (2003) and her new monograph Mission Reports (2008), she has focused on the gendered dimension of migrant labour from smuggling on the Spanish-Moroccan border to migrant sex workers in the global context. Her experimental video essays connect a theoretical macro level with the micro perspective on political and cultural practices on the ground.
Insisting that location is spatially produced rather than pre-determined by governance, she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis in the curatorial project Geography and the Politics of Mobility (2003) at the Generali Foundation in Vienna, The Maghreb Conncection on migratory systems in North Africa, Cairo/Geneva (2006) or the art research projects Black Sea Files, on the Caspian oil politics at Kunstwerke Berlin (2005) and Sahara Chronicle, on trans-saharan mobility. The most recent video essay X-Mission (2008) is an analysis of Palestinian refugee camps as a zone of exception.
Biemann's practice has long included discussions with academics and other practitioners, she has worked with anthropologists, cultural theorists, NGO members, architects, as well as scholars of sonic culture. Her video essays reach a wide and diverse audience through festival screenings, art exhibitions, activist conferences, networks and educational settings. Recent exhibitions include: Zona B at Tapies Foundation, Barcelona; International Biennial Istanbul; Centre d'art Contemporain, Geneva, a retrospective at the film festivals FID Marseille and TEK Rome, Arnolfini, Bristol and A Foundation Liverpool; group exhibitions at LACE, Los Angeles; Artist Space, New York, Kunstverein Hamburg; a retrospective at the Bildmuseet Umea in Sweden, the Gwangju and Shanghai Biennials, steirischer Herbst, Graz, Flaherty Film Seminars, NY.
Biemann is currently a researcher at the Institute for Theory of Art and Design at HGK Zurich and teaches seminars and workshops internationally. She has also been appointed Doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea, 2008. She is based in Zurich. (07/12)
A film by Ursula Biemann and Angela Sanders, 2003, 20 min., Color
The fourth in Ursula Biemann's critically acclaimed series of video essays that investigates migration across borders, EUROPLEX, a collaboration with ...
Performing the Border
A film by Ursula Biemann, 1999, 42 min., Color
A video essay set in the Mexican-U.S. border town of Ciudad Juarez, where U.S. multinational corporations assemble electronic and digital equipment j...
A film by Ursula Biemann, 2001, 53 min., Color
In Biemannís latest video, she traces the routes and reasons of women who travel across the globe for work in the sex industry. By using the latest i...
A film by Ursula Biemann, 2000, 23 min., Color
"Ursula Biemannís WRITING DESIRE is a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of womenís bodi...