At once personal and detached, intimate but distancing, Julia Dogra-Brazell’s work casts a spell all of its own. Helen DeWitt.
Julia Dogra-Brazell works with film, video, sound and the still image in the context of experimental narrative. She studied literature at London and Cambridge Universities in the eighties and, in the late nineties, shifted an acquired interest in storytelling, poetry, history and memory to the context of visual culture.
Common to all Dogra-Brazell’s works, irrespective of medium, is the idea of art as a prime means of resistance to habitual modes of analysis.
I strongly believe that, while bearing the heavy load of history, art does – and should – set out into the world uncertain in terms of expression and remain prone to failure. Julia Dogra-Brazell
Often, even when alluding to specific identifiable historic moments, the formal, linguistic or temporal support of a work is rent in pieces. Films are fleeting, fragmentary and provisional, incorporating randomly reconstituted literary texts, extended soundscapes, overlaid voices or, when one voice, the impression of a ‘confidant’ who wanders like a ghost through these ‘shattered ecologies’ (Elaine Smollin ‘Vision Scored for Voice’ Programme Notes essay 2016). Since 2018 Dogra-Brazell has been working on The Storyteller, a trilogy of longer and more sustained moving image works set on the margin of land and sea.
Awards and funding has been received from public bodies in the UK and abroad, including the British Council, Jerwood Foundation, British Academy, Arts Council England, the Memphis Trust, MOFA Japan and New Mexico Humanities Council.