Lena Maria Thüring, Future Me, 2016. Video still

Future Me

2016. HD Video, single channel, 16:9, color, sound, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, English titles, 11′ 49″

Lena Maria Thüring’s art often grows out of conversations with others she translates into texts and videos. Thüring’s guiding question is how individual stories can help us think about social systems and the constructions that underlie them. As part of its Education Projects series, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst invited the artist to collaborate with high school students on a new work. She led the students in a workshop in which they wrote their memoirs, from birth to death, producing a series of semi-fictions: partly invented and partly autobiographical texts probing the boundary between the documentary and fictional registers—between recollection and dramatic imagination. Edited for greater density and added effect, the texts served as the basis for a script used in a subsequent video shoot. The result is a film that bears the hallmarks of a music video. The choreographies and dramatic scenes staged for the camera burst onto the screen with a mix of dancelike grace and combativeness, while the soundtrack features the students’ own offscreen voices reading their memoirs—a polyphonic verbal fabric in the rhythm of the images.

Søren Grammel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, Switzerland


Lena Maria Thüring’s work explores individual stories in a reflection on social systems and their underlying constructions using various media, such as photography, performance, video or installation.

The interview forms both the starting point and the staging ground for much of Lena Maria Thüring’s recent filmic work. Her films and videos explore how individuals forge their identities and shield their memories in the shadow of larger group dynamics and the socio-political systems in which they are cast, using personal narrative — its gaps and elisions, its specificity and opacity — to reveal how meaning is constructed, projected, protected, and perhaps deconstructed. Detaching the spoken narrative from the subjects’ bodies and even their voices, Thüring creates a fissure between seeing and hearing, identity and biography. Within this space we can consider the nature of memory, the power of words, and the significance of all that remains unsaid.

Born in Basel 1981, lives and works in Zurich.

Thüring’s work had been shown in solo exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Baselland (2012) and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel 2013 and in groupshows and screenings at the Kunstmuseum Bern, Kunsthalle Basel, Haus der Kulturen Berlin, the Reina Sofia National Museum Madrid in Spain and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. She received several awards including Swiss Art Award (2008), Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation Award (2011), Grant from Zurich City (2012), Manorkunstpreis Basel (2013) and two artist residencies in Paris (2009) and New York (2010).

Thüring is a member of the Fachausschuss Audiovision und Multimedia BS / BL.