Nicola Brandt is a Namibian-born multimedia artist working in photography, installation and the moving image. Her post-documentary practice enquires into issues of subjectivity, temporality, and embodiment in relationship to place and (post-)colonial memory. Brandt’s work also centres on questions relating to power, representation, ethics, and technological mediation.
Brandt completed her doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Christ Church, University of Oxford, under the supervision of the art historian Anthony Gardner and the filmmaker Daria Martin. Brandt’s upcoming book project with Bloomsbury Publishing, based on her written dissertation Emerging Landscapes: Memory, Trauma and its Afterimage in Post-Apartheid South Africa and Namibia, explores recent histories in contemporary Southern African photography and video art, especially in relationship to landscape, identity and near documentary practices.
Brandt’s solo exhibition The Earth Inside (2014) at the National Art Gallery of Namibia wove together divergent genres including landscape, documentary realism, scripted and found stories. In Unrecounted (2015), an exhibition held during the Venice Biennale (2015), Brandt’s multiscreen video installation Indifference (2014) was shown alongside the work of the late German artist Christoph Schlingensief. Brandt has presented her work in notable institutions including at The MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, the Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth, Germany, and Yale University, New Haven, USA.
Her work explores themes related to memory/memorialization, landscape and German colonialism. Invited by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, she contributes to the German-Namibia colonial genocide photo project „Visual History of the Colonial Genocide“. During her residency in Hamburg, the colonial archives housed in the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg (Museum of Ethnology) will be used as a departure point to explore ideas of power and how it works in society, drawing a thread between the contemporary moment in Europe and this earlier historical period of German colonialism.