Mermaids / Video
© 2007 Ute Behrend 11:22min
"Cologne-based artist Ute Behrend’s photography and video pieces combine incidental snapshots of everyday reality with poetic stagings. Thus, in her collages of paired images, the complexity of everyday life is invariably linked with narrative horizons that are fairytale like or filled with yearning.
One half of Behrend’s video Mermaids (2007) shows pictures of nature—flowing water and the horizon across the sea—that defy any specific identification in terms of time and place. Alongside these, seven young women appear in barren and deserted settings, as if they are performing songs at an audition. The desolate scenery seems emblematic of shattered hopes, underlining the solitude of the singers. Their entranced performances of laments and love songs (including Gordon/Warren’s The More I See You, Irving Berlin’s How Deep is the Ocean and Brown/Tobias/Stept’s Comes Love) merge with the constant aquatic noise of the parallel scenes, to form a disharmonious canon. The protagonists seem like modern-day mermaids, whose fates are inextricably linked to the energies of the water, driven by the constant desire for salvation."
Museum, Kunst der Westküste, Föhr
Museum Kunst der Westküste