The Epic 2016 HD Video, Sound, 24' © Pola Sieverding, VG Bild-Kunst

The Epic
Video, 2016 , HD Video, Sound, 24′ © Pola Sieverd­ing, VG Bild-Kun­st
Ex- Capi­tol The­ater Wor­ringer Platz

Pola Sieverding


Pola Sieverd­ing is a visu­al artist work­ing in the field of lens based media.
Her works are cir­cling around ques­tions of rep­re­sen­ta­tion and image pro­duc­tion with­in cul­tur­al for­ma­tions that are defined by var­i­ous con­cepts of desire and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process­es. The idea of por­trai­ture in terms of an inter­pre­tive read­ing of the inscrip­tions of cul­ture in the human body as well as its sur­round­ing archi­tec­ture is a recur­ring moment in her work. With pho­tog­ra­phy, video and sound she inves­ti­gates the phys­i­cal body as
bear­er of his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tives that shape a con­tem­po­rary dis­course on the social body. By defin­ing the body lin­guis­ti­cal­ly; as an alter­na­tive to words, she exploits the clas­si­cal ide­al of the body as locus of plea­sure and pow­er. She is attract­ed to extremes and social­ized emo­tions, some­thing felt when the body switch­es between look­ing and being looked at, touch­ing and being touched. Her images explore the body as an expres­sive ele­ment, the way we alter our behav­ior when we feel our­selves to be act­ing, per­form­ing of just being.

Pola Sieverd­ing stud­ied at Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­si­ty Pitts­burgh, Surikov Insti­tute Moscow and attained her MFA at the Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts Berlin in 2007. She has been invit­ed as an Artist in Res­i­dence to Ramal­lah, Prague and Lis­bon and as a vis­it­ing lec­tur­er to the Inter­na­tion­al Acad­e­my of Art Pales­tine. Since 2016 she is teach­ing at the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts Munich. She was award­ed the Work Stipend in the Visu­al Arts by the Sen­at of Berlin in 2014 and the Stipend for the Pro­mo­tion of Junior Achieve­ment in Artis­tic Fields by the State of Berlin in 2008. Since 2011 she is col­lab­o­rat­ing with Orson Sieverd­ing on son­ic inter­fer­ences that have been per­formed at Kun­stvere­in Hei­del­berg, ReMap 3 in Athens and Kun­sthalle Dues­sel­dorf. 2012 she col­lab­o­rat­ed with Natascha Sadr Haghigh­i­an for her project for dOC­U­MEN­TA 13. She has exhib­it­ed inter­na­tion­al­ly at Aram Art Gallery, Seoul; Art in Gen­er­al, New York; Ham­burg­er Bahn­hof, Berlin; Lumi­ar Cité, Lis­bon; Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kun­st, Berlin; Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Ange­les; Neuer Berlin­er Kun­stvere­in, Berlin; Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin; Dubai Pho­to Exhi­bi­tion, Dubai; NAK Neuer Aach­en­er Kun­stvere­in, Aachen; Muse­um Abteiberg, Mönchenglad­bach et al. Pola Sieverd­ing lives and works in Berlin.

The Epic

In “The Epic,” the cam­era cir­cles around two box­ers like a group of sculp­tures, thus defin­ing the space in which their bod­ies col­lide into one anoth­er. At the start of the video, the box­ers each look in the direc­tion of the cam­era with a frontal body pos­ture, draw­ing atten­tion to the soli­tude of the ring. In the shots that fol­low, the cam­era moves and grad­u­al­ly rotates 360 degrees around the box­ers in motion, as they first size each oth­er up with their eyes, then dance around their foe and part­ner, and at last begin fight­ing with fists. The cam­era fol­lows the fight slowed down by a fac­tor of eight, film­ing at 200 frames per sec­ond. The result is to make it pos­si­ble to under­stand the forces act­ing on the bod­ies, shap­ing them and lay­ing bare their anato­my. The inter­play of the two bod­ies is like that of a dance, and call­ing to mind archa­ic sculp­tures, their flesh tone glis­ten­ing with sweat. The film’s third act con­cen­trates on the moment in which the fight­ers are in each other’s arms, in what is called a clinch. This clasp­ing is a moment of ambi­gu­i­ty: a flick­er­ing between exhaus­tion and feint, get­ting clos­er and giv­ing up. It is also a moment of immense sen­su­al­i­ty. The opu­lence of the images is crit­i­cal­ly sup­port­ed by the film’s sound­track. This is made up of the sounds of the blows, foot­falls, breath­ing and heart fre­quen­cies as record­ed dur­ing the actu­al fight, gen­er­at­ing an acoustic space using sound waves to con­vey the phys­i­cal­i­ty of the fight onto the view­ers’ bod­ies.

With Abdul­lah Kar­ali­oglu, Aza­mat Mach­mu­dov / Cam­era Christoph Manz / Sound­track Orson Sieverd­ing
With sup­port by Christo­pher Berg, Joëlle Grosz, Julian Holzapfel, Thomas Koester, Stephan Thier­bach, Ulrich Urban, Leopold Wol­len­berg
Fund­ed by  Kun­st­s­tiftung NRW

Selected Exhibitions (Solo)

2016
ICON,  Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin in occa­sion of EMOP Berlin – Euro­pean Month of Pho­tog­ra­phy
THE EPIC, Neuer Aach­en­er Kun­stvere­in, Aachen
2015
ARENA, Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin
2014
GRANDS ENSEMBLES, BOX21 Freiraum für Kul­tur, Berlin
2012
CROSS METROPOLIS MACHINE/CLOSE TO CONCRETE, BRAENNEN, Berlin
CROSS METROPOLIS MACHINE, Galerie Kost­ka, Prag
2011
CLOSE TO CONCRETE, Lumi­ar Cité, Liss­abon
2010
Nev­er mind about the six feet, let´s talk about the sev­en inch­es, Galerie Lena Brün­ing, Berlin
RHIZOMA, TÄT, Berlin
2009
Fig­ures of Affect, Friederike Hamann und Pola Sieverd­ing, Galerie Cam­pagne Pre­mière, Berlin
Cadavre Exquis, Galerie Lena Brün­ing, Berlin
“I’M AFRAID. IT IS HUNGRY. IT IS IMMORTAL.”, Art in Gen­er­al, New York, US

Selected Exhibitions (Group)

2016
A NEW LANGUAGE/ ROOT 1066 CONTEMPORARY ARTS FESTIVAL, curat­ed by Christo­pher Win­ter, Hast­ings
Von den Strö­men der Stadt, curat­ed by Markus Ambach & Susanne Titz, Muse­um Abteiberg, Mönchenglad­bach
Some­times You see Your City dif­fer­ent­ly, PEER TO SPACEFEINBERG PROJECTS LTD. | Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, Tel Aviv
Dubai Pho­to Exhi­bi­tion, Dubai
SUPERSTITION, a coop­er­a­tion between  Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery & Galerie am Meer, Düs­sel­dorf
2015
The Vacan­cy – 33 Artists 33 Rooms, Tem­po­rary Art Space Friedrich­strasse 124, Berlin
Gib’ mir das Som­mer­loch, Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin
Um Fleisch auf die Ner­ven zu bekom­men, Kun­stvere­in Fam­i­lie Mon­tez, Frank­furt
Top­less, kuratiert von Ben Kauf­mann, B32, Maas­tricht
KIK FIVE, Kino Inter­na­tion­al, Berlin
NGORONGORO, Lehder­erstrasse 34, Berlin
His­to­ry is a Warm Gun, Neuer Berlin­er Kun­stvere­in, Berlin
2014
The Oth­er Where, La Bien­al de la Ima­gen en Movimien­to, Buenos Aires
LOVE AIDS RIOT SEX2, Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kun­st, Berlin
Blend­ed Gen­er­a­tions, 701 e.V., Köbo­gen Düs­sel­dorf
The Undu­la­tion of Some­thing Faint­ly Famil­iar, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Ange­les
2013
Hélio Oiti­ci­ca. Das große Labyrinth – Pen­etráv­el PN 14, Pal­men­garten des Muse­um für Mod­erne Kun­st, Frank­furt
BERLIN:STATUS [2], Kün­stler­haus Bethanien, Berlin
040 Fes­ti­val für Fotografie in der Gegen­wart­skun­st- Destroyed Images, Frap­pant, Ham­burg
2012
Avantrash Neue Wände, Kunst+Kunz, München
Hyper­re­als, Bruno Glint, Lon­don
2011
Hot Spot Berlin, Georg Kolbe Muse­um, Berlin
Alive She Cried, kuratiert von Reynold Reynolds, Galerie Zink, Berlin
2010
Kün­stler der Galerie III, Galerie Lena Brün­ing, Berlin
Six Days Of New Media, Lin­ien­strasse 127, Berlin
No more daugh­ters and heroes, Aram Art Gallery, Goyang Cul­tur­al Foun­da­tion, Seoul, Korea
2009
Kün­stler der Galerie II, Galerie Lena Brün­ing, Berlin
2007
Hard­core Glam­our, Kun­straum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin