by Mariele Neudecker

view of Swiss mountain landscape im summer


  • 1Kindertotenlieder installed at Impressions Gallery, York, UK
  • 2Kindertotenlieder installed at Colston Hall, Bristol, UK
  • 3Kindertotenlieder installed at Colston Hall, Bristol, UK
  • 4Kindertotenlieder installed at Colston Hall, Bristol, UK
  • 5Production image: Mariele Neudecker on location
  • 6Production image: Mariele Neudecker on location

Video still from Kindertotenlieder


Mariele Neudecker’s five-part installation is a response to Gustav Mahler’s 1901 song cycle Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children). The commission explores classical music and poetry through film and sculpture.

Mahler's composition was written in 1901 and is widely considered one of the pinnacles of the German Romantic movement in music. Set to the verse of German Romantic poet Friedrich Rückert, Mahler's music evokes powerful emotions of grief, loss and guilt. To maximise the emotional experience of the exhibition, Neudecker uses an acclaimed archive recording of soprano Kathleen Ferrier singing the Kindertotenlieder songs.

Mariele Neudecker draws upon the metaphors of light and weather referred to in Rückert's verse; filmed on location in Switzerland the images of meadows, sunsets and storms are used to sublime effect. The raging emotion of the music and image is juxtaposed with domestic, still settings such as mirrors, door-knobs and windows. The combination of moving image and a series of evocative sculptural rooms and maquettes brought together two areas of Mariele's practice, her ‘tank' pieces of Romantic rooms and landscapes and her film works such as ‘Stay Here or Die' (2002)



Year 2005
Duration various
Medium Multi screen video installation
Original format 16mm film
Screening format MPEG-2 DVD
Aspect ratio 4:3 and custom aspect ratios
Audio Yes
Colour / B&W Colour
Screens 5

External links:


Commissioned by Opera North Projects and Picture This in partnership with Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Bonington Gallery, Nottingham.

Screening history:

27 Aug - 28 Oct 2005
Impressions Gallery, York, UK

Related Items:

Mariele Neudecker

Mariele Neudecker's work centres on the tensions between representations of the sublime landscape and our perception and memory of experience.

Voice Vista and Vapours: music and moving image in works by Mariele Neudecker

Written for the InProfile: Mariele Neudecker 2002-05 DVD this essay by Shirley MacWilliam looks music and moving image in Neudecker's work.