22. March 2012 to 03. June 2012

In her photography and video pieces Cologne-based artist Ute Behrend (b. 1961) combines incidental snapshots of everyday reality with poetic stagings. Thus her collaged images, which are consistently arranged in pairs, invariably seem to link the thicket of daily routine to fairytale-like or yearning-filled narrative horizons. Behrend’s video piece Mermaids (2007) shows on the one hand nature imagery – flowing water and sea horizons – that defies any specific identification in terms of location and time. On the other hand, seven young women appear in barren and deserted settings, singing as if being auditioned. The desperate scenery seems to be emblematic of shattered hopes, underscoring the singers’ solitude. Performed in an enraptured manner, the laments and love songs they sing (including Gordon/Warren’s The more I see you, Irving Berlin’s How deep is the Ocean and Brown/Tobias/Stept’s Comes Love) conflate with the continuous rushing from the simultaneously shown aquatic worlds into a disharmonious canon. The protagonists appear like modern-day mermaids who are fatefully conjoined with the energies of the water and driven by the constant need for deliverance.