Director: Ursula Biemann

Switzerland, 2015, documentary, 11 minutes, english with lithuanian subtitles, N-7

Ursula Biemann’s short film Subatlantic is a science fiction-inspired video essay dedicated to the Subatlantic – the current climate era that started 2500 years ago and has lasted until our time. Biemann puts the science of geology and climatology next to human history, turning her lens onto a single climate period that encapsulates the entirety of changes and movement undergone by the human civilisation. This narrative is shown through the eyes of a she-scientist, Biemann showcasing both her surroundings and the thoughts arising in response to them. ‘Subatlantic’ also refers to the submerged space underneath the Atlantic Ocean: Biemann showcases the Shetland Isles, Greenland’s Disco Bay and a tiny island in the Caribbean, far away yet connected by invisible ocean stream, slowly revealing the double effect of the glaciers’ melting – the slowing down of these streams and the emergence of new genetic material which has been submerged in the ice for centuries. Subatlantic is an eco-feminist view at climate change and its effects that are invisible to the naked eye.

About the director:

Swiss artist, writer and filmmaker Ursula Biemann was born in 1955, in Zurich. Biemann got her BFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York and continued her studies Whitney Independent Study Program. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil, ice and water. Biemann’s pluralistic practice spans a range of media including experimental video, interview, text, photography, cartography and materials, which converge in highly formalized spatial installations. The artist has had solo exhibitions in museums and galleries all over the world; her work has been featured in international biennials in Liverpool, Shardjah, Shanghai, Seville, Istanbul, Monreal, Venice and elsewhere. In 2009 she received the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Grand Award for Art. Her recent fieldwork has taken her to the Amazon and the Arctic region where she engages the larger temporalities of climate change. Subatlantic is one of the results of this research.

Section: Ocean for Earthly Survival

Screenplay: Ursula Biemann

Dir. of Photography: Ursula Biemann