Andrea en conversation

Video installation, 9 channels, 9 monitors on the floor, 2013, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, solo exhibition “Echo”

8 fragmented elments of the biography of Andrea Kalff, a Bavarian woman who became a Korean shaman associated with fragments of the first film shot in Korea, Im Lande der Morgen Stille, in 1927 by a German monk, Norbert Weber.

Andrea tells her story in the first person, from her initiation in Korea in 2007 until today. Between two facing worlds, Europe, heir to the rationalist thought of the Enlightenment, and the East, a distant, sometimes frightening but seductive figure of exoticism, Andrea, a Bavarian mother turned shaman, is leading a personal and cultural revolution whose stakes are nothing less than life and death…

As such, Andrea is at the center of a complex mechanism of exclusion and oppression, or hybri-dity and syncretism, which crisscrosses the West and the East, colonialism and Orientalism, patriarchy and feminism, and different social classes and peoples. Andrea was initiated in South Korea by Kim Keum-hwa, and currently practices shamanism in Bavaria, Germany. Nisic shows Andrea to be an other in both societies. Through a process of mutual reflection and projection within her work, the two societies, each depicted from a slightly different angle through the artist’s lens, unravel the modern boundaries to which they are both tightly bound. Possessed by uncanny spirits, Andrea must certainly be an eccentric character in southern Germany, but she is just as unfamiliar and strange in traditional Korean shamanistic culture. That is because, although spirits of the other world may not have nationalities, in the real world spiritual mediums belong to a pretty solid historical and cultural terrain.

Jee Sook Beck, in Catalogue du Jeu de Paume, Echo, Acts Sud, 2013

Related works
Andrea’s Sky, film, 2014
Andrea, video installtion, 2011