Ursula Biemann

Ursula Biemann (1955, Zurich) is an artist, theorist and curator working on geopolitical displacement and migrant labor. Border, mobility and extraterritorial spaces are the central recurring themes in her video essays Performing the Border (1999), Remote Sensing (2001), Europlex (2003) and Contained Mobility (2004). Major research projects in recent years include Black Sea Files (2005) on the Caspian oil geography, shown at Kunstwerke (Berlin), Tapies Foundation (Barcelona), Istanbul Biennial, Cooper Union (New York); the widely exhibited Sahara Chronicle (2006-2009) on migration systems in North Africa, shown from Shanghai Biennial to SFAI (San Francisco), the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago de Chile and in art institutions around Europe and West Africa; and X-Mission (2008), a video essay on Palestinian refugee camps released at the Gwangju Biennial, which is framed by a special issue on Extra-territoriality in the Middle East, guest-edited for ArteEast Quarterly.

Together with Shuruq Harb she has recently founded, a discussion blog for art practices in and around the Middle East. Ursula Bieman was curator of the 2003 exhibition and publication titled "Geography and the Politics of Mobility" at Generali Foundation (Vienna), and "The Maghreb Connection" at Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), CAC Geneva and Actar Publishers (Barcelona 2006). She has published numerous books on the video essay in the digital age, post-colonial curatorial projects and on artistic research and geography. Most recently she published the monograph "Mission Reports - artistic practice in the field, Ursula Biemann Video Works” 1998-2008, Cornerhouse Publishers, 2008. Biemann's research is based at the Universities of Art and Design in Zurich and Geneva. She holds an honorary degree from the Swedish University Umea and teaches seminars and workshops internationally.


Deep Weather

2013, 09:00 minutes, Colour, English


2008, 35:15 minutes, colour

Sahara Chronicle

2007, 81:34 minutes, colour

Black Sea Files

2005, 43:53 minutes, colour

Contained Mobility

2004, 21:25 minutes, colour


2003, 20:00 minutes, colour

Writing Desire

2000, 25:00 minutes, colour, English/Spanish

performing the border

1999, 43:00 minutes, colour, English/Spanish

Critical Writing

The (im)mobilities of assembly-line work
by Paula Brailovsky. Moving Image Review & Art Journal, 2015, v. 4, no. 1&2.
Museums of Human Bodies
by Hanna Musiol. College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies, Summer 2013, v. 40, no. 3.
Idle No More
by T.J. Demos. Camera Austria, 2013, v. 124.
Liquid Assets
by Sukhdev Sandhu. Sight and Sound, May 2013.
Video's Migrant Geography: Ursula Biemann's Sahara Chronicle
by T.J. Demos. The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis, 2013. London: Duke University Press, 2013.
Materialist Feminism for the Twenty-first Century: The Video...
by Angela Dimitrakaki. Oxford Art Journal, 2007, v. 30, no. 2.