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Nicola Brandt

Nicola Brandt is a Namibian-born artist and researcher working with the moving image, photography and experimental documentary film. Her work enquires into issues of subjectivity, temporality, and embodiment in relationship to place and (post-)colonial memory. Brandt’s practice also centres on questions relating to power, representation, ethics, and technological mediation.

Brandt’s upcoming book project with Bloomsbury Publishing explores innovative fine art documentary practices in both photography and the moving image that engage with identity and place emerging from Southern Africa.

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, the filmmaker Daria Martin and the artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. In her practice, Brandt weaves together divergent genres including landscape, documentary realism, and scripted and found stories that explore legacies of colonialism and migration. Her written dissertation Emerging Landscapes: Memory, Trauma and its Afterimage in Post-Apartheid South Africa and Namibia, investigates critical documentary aesthetics relating to landscape and identity that have emerged in Southern Africa since the end of apartheid. Both her practice and theory explore questions of subjectivity and the spectral in relationship to shifting political, economic and technological realities, as described by the art historian and theorist TJ Demos in his books Return to the Postcolony (2013) and The Migrant Image (2013). 

In Unrecounted (2015), an exhibition held during the Venice Biennale (2015), Brandt’s video installation was shown alongside the work of the late German artist Christoph Schlingensief.  She is currently working on her second solo show at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (2017), curated by Efeoghene Igor, a writer and doctoral student in the department of History at Yale University.

Brandt has taught a series of courses and individual tutorials devoted to the historical, political and theoretical context of contemporary art, photography, and the moving image. Brandt lives in Namibia and in the UK.