Lecturer, Performance and Drama
Central Saint Martins
Central Saint Martins
Andrea Luka Zimmerman grew up on a large council estate in Munich and left school at 16. After moving to London in 1991, she studied at Central Saint Martins for her PhD. She received the Artangel Open Award for her collaborative feature drama Cycle (2014) with Adrian Jackson (Cardboard Citizens). Her work explores the impact of globalisation, power structures, militarism and denied histories.
Her film Estate, a Reverie (2015, 83min), tracks the passing of the Haggerston Estate in East London and the utopian promise of social housing it once offered, with a spirited celebration of extraordinary everyday humanity. Her film Taskafa, Stories of the Street (2013, 66mins) is about resistance and co-existence told through the lives of the street dogs of Istanbul and is voiced by John Berger. Both films are central to Zimmerman’s first UK solo exhibition Common Ground at Spike Island, Bristol (April 8th - June 18th 2017). Her films have been nominated and shortlisted for the Grierson Award, the Aesthetica Art Prize, the Golden Orange and the Jarman Award, among other prizes.
Her forthcoming film Erase and Forget (2017, 90mins) is an inquiry into the nature of human conscience and the limits of deniability. It premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Glashutte most original documentary award.
With David Roberts she co-curated the project Real Estates at PEER, London (2015) in association with LUX as a social, discursive and imaginative space around issues of housing and social injustice. Zimmerman has also made several commissioned short films, including Merzschmerz for Film and Video Umbrella (2014), More Utopias Now for Channel 4’s Random Acts (2016) and Lower Street, A Night’s Journey for Tintype Gallery (2016).
As co-founder of the artists' collective Fugitive Images (I am here and Estate: Art, Politics and Social Housing in Britain), Zimmerman is also a founding member of Vision Machine (collaborators on Academy Award® nominated feature documentary The Look of Silence).
Performativity and genre, cinema and militarism, artists moving image, grey zones between private and public memory, spectral and spectacular representations of political violence, cultures of representation.
At times of significant social change, whether revolutionary or evolutionary, committed moving image documentary practice comes more than ever into its own as perhaps the most literally and metaphorically ‘telling’ of forms by which to engage both the subjects and themes of its enquiry. Its ability to prioritise those marginalised by mainstream, commodity film-making, and the means it can employ to enable an open narrative space for individuals, communities and ways of being, becoming and belonging through enduring dialogue with its participants is exemplary.
The subtly polemical way it can build its argument through enduring encounter – outside of the template requirements of television production, whether in process or product – means that it offers time, the duration of shared experience, as well as space (the arena of its theme as well as the actual material environments of its content) as active components in its palette of tools. This combination, when allied to its specific role of advocacy, makes engaged social documentary one of the most energised in contemporary moving image practice.
My interest as an artist lies in filmmaking as experimental social practice. My practice consists of diverse engagements with radically different communities both in the making and dissemination of work.
Nominations and awards
Nominated for Glashuette best original documentary award, 2017 (Erase and Forget)
Nominated and in final six for Aesthetica Art Prize, 2016 (Estate, a Reverie)
Winner of Creating Places Awards, with the Estate project, November 24th, 2015
Nominated and tour for the 2015 Jarman award
Nominated for the Grierson Award, best newcomer (Estate, a Reverie)
Nominated for best documentary, East End Film festival (Estate, a Reverie)
Artangel Open 2014, for Cycle, in collaboration with Adrian Jackson (Cardboard citizens)
Nominated for best documentary, Golden Orange Award, Turkey, 2014 (Taskafa, Stories of The Street)
Shortlisted for CINECITY Architectural Film Project, judged by Bernard Tschumi and others, 2013 (as Fugitive Images)
Shortlist Bar Tur Award, (as Fugitive Images) / I am here; 2012
1st Prize, The Ramp [2010, 5 min], Reel Health Stories festival, judged by Ken Loach and David Morrissey, awarded July 4th 2010
Professional and other awards
John Braebourne Award, 2017 (Erase and Forget)
Arts Council England Award, 2016, (Erase and Forget)
Wapping Project and Women’s Playhouse Trust award, 2016, (Erase and Forget)
CSM Restless Futures award, 2015
CSM Research award, 2014, (Estate, a Reverie)
Film and Video Umbrella Award for Merzschmerz, a series of 4 shorts, 2014
International Artists Development Award, Arts Council England Award; 2013
PRSF Foundation of New Music Award, 2012 (Estate, a Reverie)
Arts Council England Award; 2009
Danish Film Institute development award; 2008
Film London Award; 2005
Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) research grant, 2002-2005
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2017) Common Ground (solo exhibition). [Art/Design Item]
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2016) Lower Street: a night journey. [Art/Design Item]
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2016) Co-existence. Sequence (4). pp. 36-38.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2015) Human Conditions: the Lives of Estate/s. La Furia Umana (23). ISSN 2037-0431
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2015) Estate, a Reverie.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka and Roberts, David, Fugitive Images (2015) Real Estates.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2014) Merzschmerz (Film and Video Umbrella).
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2014) The Delmarva Chicken Of Tomorrow.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2013) Towards Estate.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2013) Taskafa, stories of the street.
Zimmerman, Andrea Luka (2014) Birdboy and the General.