At once personal and detached, intimate but distancing, Julia Dogra-Brazell’s work casts a spell all of its own. Helen De Witt.
What directives for decoding are you giving? Luis Camnitzer
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. In the late nineties, she 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.
Even when alluding to specific, identifiable historic moments, this is art whose formal, linguistic or temporal support is rent in pieces. The films incorporate 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’ DVD essay 2015).
In this archive you will find intricate and provisional works whose full impact is felt only incrementally. In an interview with Helen DeWitt, Dogra-Brazell alluded to this. I don’t set out to make something for one type of experience. I like to think that anything I produce is, in any case, only one remove from being taken apart and rearranged. There is nothing heartless or perfunctory about this enterprise. For as Elaine Smollin, who lends voice to many of Dogra-Brazell’s films, suggests, there can be no dispassion to a project where an artist seems so intent on celebrating ‘the rites of spontaneous renewal of our faith in the filmic arts.’