stockholm

Ulla von Brandenburg, Chorspiel (Choral Play), 2010, still from a black-and-white video, 10 minutes 35 seconds.

Ulla von Brandenburg/Malin Pettersson Öberg

Bonniers Konsthall

Ulla von Brandenburg, Chorspiel (Choral Play), 2010, still from a black-and-white video, 10 minutes 35 seconds.

In 2010, Ulla von Brandenburg made Chorspiel, a video in the form of a “choral play.” In this Ibsenesque family drama, a grandfather, grandmother, mother, and daughter move like pieces on a chessboard in front of a drawn backdrop that shows an open field near a forest, reminiscent of the settings of Lars von Trier’s films Dogville (2003) and Manderlay (2005). The interactions among these figures are characterized by ritualized gestures, such as the loosening of a tangle of yarn they pass between them. Rather than speaking, they lip-synch to the singing of an offstage choir, which gives them an irritatingly alienated presence, or, considered psychoanalytically, allows them to speak their many selves. The choir also sings at times when the family does not speak, presenting a recapitulation of what has been said, or a summary of the action. In this way, the choir acts as a kind of

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