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Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon
Ulla Von Brandenburg

Patrons - Les habitants de la résidence des Saint-Simoniens à Paris
Mediator - Jérôme Poggi (Societies) et François Quintin (Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette)
Supporters - Fondation de France, Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin, London College of Fashion
Résidence des Saint-Simoniens, Ménilmontant, Paris, France, 2010 - 2015

The context

The Saint-Simoniens residence is a residence for disadvantaged people built in the 1980s in Ménilmontant. Managed by the Centre d'Action Sociale of the Town Hall of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, it was raised on the same site where Father Prosper Enfantin retired in 1832 with about fifty disciples to found a utopian Saint-Simonienne community.
Ignoring the historical importance of this place until now, several inhabitants of the residence wanted to commission a work from an artist who commemorates and reactivates the Saint-Simonien ideal that was played out in the square where their residence is now located.

The commission

Entitled "Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon", the work proposed by the artist Ulla von Brandenburg is a sung piece that reactivates the processions staged in 1832 by the Saint-Simoniens disciples during their retreat in Ménilmontant in the residence of Prosper Enfantin. It is a play for five actors and a choir of twenty-five singers. The shape of the piece is based on the rituals of dressing, costumes and symbols of the Holy Simonism (clothing of the Father, choreography of gestures, hierarchy of songs, manipulation of objects, etc.).

Ulla Von Brandenburg

Ulla von Brandenburg's work is characterized by the diversity of the media and supports she uses and transforms into a complex theme. The motifs then appear in different contexts, the performances refer to wall paintings, to drawings which themselves turn out to be the sketches of the videos made by the artist ; videos which in turn become the matrices of future objects, manufactured sculptures. The idea and imagery of the carnival are very present in his work. They allow her to somehow transgress the social structure and evoke our society through old images, masks, costumes in the popular tradition, but also to go in search of a new identity while subtly mixing reality and appearances in theatrical productions.