Malia Bruker Films Klasse, Featured in Art Exhibit

School of Communication professor Malia Bruker participated in a site-specific art exhibition spread across various locations in Tuscany. Bruker was an artist-in-residence at M’Arte 2015, a contemporary art project. While overseas, Bruker traveled to Germany and worked on dance film Klasse with School of Dance’s Hannah Schwadron.



Schwadron’s grandmother Ursula Lievendag was a Holocaust survivor who lived in Hamburg, Germany before WWII. Bruker and Schwadron worked in Hamburg for two weeks with a group of middle school student who currently attend the school that her Lievendag attended prior to her escape. Klasse is the 2015 recipient of Dance Films Association’s Production Grant.

The professors worked with professional dancers and 7th grade students to create a choreography based on Schwadron’s grandmother’x experience and the student’s personal experience in the classroom. The dancers put on two public performances and Klasse was filmed on the two days in-between.

“It was really amazing to see the students responding with so much seriousness and interest in the historic material,” said Bruker. “Most of them had no prior experience in dance but they worked hard and really progressed as performers.”

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Still from Klasse


Later, Bruker traveled to Querceto, Italy where she spent 12 days as an artist-in-residence at M’Arte. Bruker initially planned to document the artist residency, but ended up creating video art as opposed to a traditional documentary. Bruker created a series of cinemagraph portraits, digitally manipulated animated GIFs, which were included in the M’arte exhibition. Her work remains on display at M’Arte through the end of June.

“The experience was really special because I had to adapt in terms of language and in terms of my work and process. The other artists were wonderful to work with and they were really patient and helpful in letting me explore a new kind of portraiture.”

Check out more of Malia’s work on her personal site and on Vimeo.