Ursula Mayer

25 Feb - 31 Mar 2010

Opening February 25th 2010, 7pm

Three years on from her Italian debut in 2007 at Monitor, the gallery is pleased to present a second solo show of Ursula Mayer with the captivating title Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight.
Mayers most recent investigation of film dismantles elements of cinematic narratives. Each of her film is interrupted with numerous flashbacks and challenges to the cinematic convention of temporal linearity, leading her to question the production of imagery.
Infused with references of the avant-garde her films explore the possibilities of performative and theatrical staging. The artist has also developed a body of sculpture parallel to her enquiries into moving-image.
Together they create a rich web of storylines, providing a terracing of perspectives on history.In her latest double projection film Last Hours of Ancient sunlight, an ancient Roman sculpted bas reliefs of the Myth Medea represents the starting point for a group of actors whose performance transpose archetypal immobility of a frieze into a play of ancient ritual and references to the avant-garde of modern dance. Unlike her previous films, in which her characters figures suspended within a timeless framework coexisted within different time frames without ever meeting one another, Mayer’s latest work two film loops side by side playing and suggesting a possible synchronicity of time and history. Here the collusion between the bound identities of film and fictionalised history reinforces the artificial space of cinema and amplifies the self-analytical construction and disruptive chronology of structuralized filmmaking.
Alongside of the film Ancient Sunlight Ursula Mayer is presenting a new body of works completed for this show. The artist has employed objects in precious materials such as marble, gold or bronze next to invalid currency notes not just for their aesthetic properties but for their intrinsic value, thus transforming them into symbols for more complex issues such as the cultural or economic references they encapsulate. Delicate and amorphous, these sculptures are reminiscent of both archaeological finds and pieces of Modernist design. They are presented next to a short 16-millimetre film, shot during Mayer’s stay in Rome and featuring a succession of monochrome images of fragments of coloured marble.
This geographical stone, found in various sites of the city, are representation of the conquest of imperial times of the city Rome. A text by Mike Sperlinger will accompany the show.

Ursula Mayer was born in Austria currently lives and works in London.
Recent solo presentations includes: Frame, Frieze Art Fair, London; Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Gallery Juliètte Jongma, Amsterdam; ICA, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Lentos, Museum of Modern Art, Linz; Centraal Museum, Utrecht;
Recent group exhibition includes: Projections, Bonniers Konsthall Stockholm; 100 Years (version #1,#2), curated by Klaus Biesenbach, RoseLee Goldberg PS1, New York and Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf; Contemporary artifices and Baroque difformities, curated by Claudia Gioia, ARCOS-Sannio Museum of Contemporary Art, Benevuto; The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, Tirana International Art Biennale, Tirana; HEAVEN, 2nd Athens Bienniale, Athens; Concept Film, Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz; The Blood of a Poet, curated by Adam Budak, FRAC des pays de la loire, Estuaire Biennale Nantes; Cabinet Afrique, Cell projects, London; Rooms Look Back, curated by Simone Neuenschwander, Basel Kunsthalle, Basel;

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