Ursula Biemann (born 1955 in Zurich, lives in Zurich, works worldwide) is an artist, writer, and video essayist. Her practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork and video documentation in remote locations. She investigates global relations under the impact of the accelerated mobility of people, resources and information and works the materials into multi-layered videos by connecting a theoretical macro level with the micro perspective on political and cultural practices on the ground
In the curatorial project “Geography and the Politics of Mobility” (2003), “The Maghreb Connection” (2006) and her widely exhibited art project “Sahara Chronicle” (2006-2009) on clandestine migration networks she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis. With “Black Sea Files” (2005), “Egyptian Chemistry” (2012) and “Deep Weather” (2013) she shifts the focus to natural resources and their situated materiality.
Ursula Biemann had retrospective exhibitions at the Bildmuseet Umea in Sweden, Nikolaj Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, Helmhaus Zurich, Lentos Museum Linz, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k., and at film festivals FID Marseille and TEK Rome. Her work also contributed to major exhibitions e.g. at the Arnolfini Bristol; Tapies Foundation Barcelona; Museum of Fine Arts Bern; LACE, Los Angeles, San Francisco Art Institute; Kunsthalle Brandt Odense; Kunstverein Hamburg; the Biennials in Gwangju, Shanghai, Liverpool, Bamako, Istanbul and Sevilla; steirischer Herbst, Graz; Flaherty Film Seminars, NY and many others.
She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts (1986) and in 1988 was a participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program (ISP) in New York where she lived most of the 1980s. Today, she is a researcher at the Institute for Theory (ith) of the Zurich University of the Arts and teaches seminars and workshops internationally. She is appointed Doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea (2008) and received the 2009 Prix Meret Oppenheim.