While in Ursula Palla’s early work the accent was on man as a figure between appearance and disappearance, after 2000 the world of plants and animals came into focus as a motif. The artificiality of nature crystallizes ever more clearly as the central theme of the multimedia-based oeuvre. In the form of videos and sculptures made of bronze, which are sometimes grouped together as installations, she critically questions the appropriation and manipulation of nature by man, because “our landscape today has changed a lot and is overbuilt. Natural landscapes have become rare, and we have developed the ability to see selectively. We fade out what is disturbing, we overlook it or transfigure it” (Ursula Palla 2013). Her works, which are preceded by well-founded research, suggest a paradisiacal state on a formal-aesthetic level. On closer inspection, the beautiful appearance falls apart at the contradictions of the details. Illusion and reality enter into a tense relationship in Palla’s works.
Ursula Palla was born in Chur in 1961. She studied at the Zurich F+F Schule für Kunst Mediendesign from 1988 to 1991. Since 1992 she has regularly participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as video festivals in Switzerland and abroad. Decisive for her career as an artist are also cantonal work grants, studio scholarships and architectural art projects. Her works can be found throughout Europe in renowned private and museum collections such as the Gemeente Museum in The Hague, the ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Karlsruhe and the Kunsthaus Zürich. Palla lives and works in Zurich.