Review

Christian
Niccoli

In the IBB Video Space

Christian Niccoli makes frequent use in his film work of images that serve as metaphors for existential questions. His trilogy “Du bei mir” (“You by Me”), made in the years 2016-2021, addresses various aspects of belief, and for each one he creates a distinctive cinematographic form and language.

Christian Niccoli, Du bei mir - Teil III , 2020-21, Still
Christian Niccoli, Du bei mir - Teil III , 2020-21, Still
© Christian Niccoli

Du bei mir (You by Me) – Part I, 2016-17

In the first part, Niccoli explores bodily expressions of spirituality. We see a man performing a ritual prostration, crawling along wet streets in a dark storm. His inner peace contrasts strikingly with the tempestuous weather.

Du bei mir (You by Me) – Part III, 2020-21

The third part concerns the earthly forms that a spiritual authority can take and how people respond to them. The central character thinks she sees a face on her kitchen wall. At first she resists the phenomenon, but as time passes she comes to accept and interact with the unknown figure. When she makes her peace with it, she gains insights into another world.

Du bei mir (You by Me) – Part II, 2018-19

The second part is a stop-motion animation. We watch a pole jumper leap across a wall at the end of a long blind alley. The slowly tracking camera and swelling sound effects generate an oppressive atmosphere that contrasts with the fearless leap, which might be seen as a step into a new dimension.

About the artist

Christian Niccoli was born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1976. His works have been shown, among other places, at the Belvedere 21 in Vienna, Kunsthaus in Graz, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, National Gallery of Modern Art in Bengaluru and various film festivals. He lives in Berlin.

Faciliated by Ilse-Augustin-Stiftung

IBB Video space

Since 2011 the IBB Video Space has been screening artists who work with time-based media. The programme, which changes every month, features not only established names in contemporary video art but also up-and-coming artists rarely seen in museums to date. For these, the Berlinische Galerie seeks to facilitate an institutional début. 
Each month brings a new encounter with work that raises questions about the medium and about social or political issues. Importance is attached to including marginalised perspectives and to shedding light on the impact of power structures.

This project has been faciliated by