Undine Sommer, Visual Arts, 2020

* 1989 in Konstanz, lives in Berlin

Undine Sommer is a video artist. The quotidian is her raw material, its muted possibilities her driving force. By weaving choreography and imaginary narratives into fact-based stories, her work dramatises the gestures of memory. Portraying bodies entangled in history and conflict, she seeks to preserve and articulate the confounding and agitating effect these histories have upon us. She received her MFA in Studio Arts/Film Production from Concordia University, Tiohtià:ke/Montreal in 2020 and her Degree in Fine Arts from HBK Braunschweig in 2015.

Berlin Fellowship

What Matters

Work Presentation 2022

“What Matters” was the question andtatement of 2022 presentation of works by the JUNGE AKADEMIE, the interdisciplinary and international artist-in-residence programme of the Akademie der Künste. In an exhibition and a multifaceted programme including screenings, concerts and readings, 29 fellows from all of the Akademie’s art sections presented sound and video installations, photographs, sculptures, paintings and performances they developed during their studio residencies in the Hansaviertel in Berlin and at Villa Serpentara in Olevano, Italy.

“What Matters” is not to be understood as the title of a thematic exhibition but rather indicates the diversity of questions, perspectives and realities that are interlaced in an artist residency, while emphasising their urgency. The exhibition focused on the artists’ individual approaches that encompass a broad spectrum of themes: from questions about the transformation of societies and their expression in relation to the urban space and landscape, to interrelations between the individual and social systems such as state, religion and the economy, to reflections on body images and conceptions of history, personal archives and the intertwining of nature, technology and culture.

What matters is artistic testimony, poetic resistance and the imagining of sustainable futures in the face of global tipping points – whether climatic or political in nature. Two years into the pandemic and the associated restrictions, “What Matters” was the most comprehensive presentation of works to date by the JUNGE AKADEMIE.

To quote one of the fellows: “What matters? Make them see…”


Text-Video Installation

Gurgling pipes, a speculative script, partially decayed cottongrass. Itchy skin, bog girls, women’s pleasure. Sexual violence in a clinical setting. Emotion. Things that bubble up, that pop, their contents expelled, otherwise trapped forever. The narrator’s informal and imaginative experience layers excretory organs, language, ancestral secrets, and bogs. This installation is a squeezing—of butter, moss, half-linen, soil, the invisible, the taboo, the preserved, the lost, and the transcendent—inching towards the bottom of human and environmental trauma and eventual healing.


Installation components:

Video 4K cinemascope 2.39:1, stereo, color, one-channel, 33:31 min Text, half-linen bed sheets, foam



Text edited by Elliott Elliott & Mick Hennessy

Graphic Design by Ina Kwon

Sound Design by Hyemin Jung (Joreng)

Cinematography by Robert Schulzmann

Sound Recording by Robert Logan

Production Assistant Lianne Chan

Special Thanks to Sophia Hamann, Fritjof Mangerich, Ambika Thompson and everyone in her writing group