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Leonie Weber

May-June 2009

About the Artist:

Leonie Weber was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1974. She earned her german art school degree from the Bauhaus-University Weimar (BUW) in 1999 and received a BUW fellowship for a guest semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. She has exhibited her work at venues such as 5räume (2009) in Ludwigsburg, Schalter (2008) and Kunstraum Kreuzberg (2002/2004) in Berlin, the New Museum (2005) and the K&K Center for Art and Fashion (2007) in Weimar, and ThreeWalls (2004) in Chicago. Since 1999 she has curated and organized a number of independent exhibition series and projects. Between 2001 and 2004 she helped to develop the Public Art and New Artistic Strategies MFA program at BUW. In 2008, she was awarded the annual fellowship of the Baden-Wurttemberg Foundation for Art. She lives in Karlsruhe.

Project Description:

The video “Hello Goodbye” was conceived and filmed during my six week residency at Sculpture Space. It consists of 12 short scenes, staged and filmed at different locations throughout the city and performed by lay actions, most of whom are Utica residents. The themes depicted are varied and seem random to a certain degree. My motivation was to create a portrait of Utica through seemingly marginal situations that resonate beyond their immediate actions and dialogue.

I gathered material for the scenes by talking with, and even more importantly, listening to people in Utica. I collected stories I was told and snippets of conversations I had overheard and then edited, supplemented, and combined this material to form12 short episodes. The scenes were realized in collaboration with the people who performed them; their interpretations of the situations, their ideas for settings, and their personalities crucially impacted the staging.

In collaborating with lay actors, I was interested in exploring how people can understand the unfamiliar worries and concerns of others. I see this short film both as an invitation to relate to one another and as an expression of my own fondness for the people I met in Utica.