Whitechapel Gallery

Ursula Mayer

05 Apr - 21 Jun 2009

© Ursula Mayer

5 April-21 June 2009
Zilkha Auditorium

The Art Deco splendour of Eltham Palace; the cool modernist interior of Erno and Ursula Goldfinger’s house; a salon of Surrealist objects. These are the stage sets of Ursula Mayer’s films, explorations of cinematic convention that play out mesmeric encounters between the artistic and architectural avant gardes.
Interiors, 2006, features two women of two generations walking through Goldfinger’s 1930s north London home. They do not meet, ascending and descending its spiral staircase and occupying its rooms through movement and touch. Their focus is a rotating sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, which becomes a beacon for silent communication between two generations.
Set in the opulent glamour of south London’s Eltham Palace, The Crystal Gaze, 2007, imagines three glamourous women, whose hair, clothes and make up each embody the style of a decade. Their appearance and dialogue show a female subjectivity entrapped in artifice, desire and the seductive distortions of film itself.
Mayer’s most recent work Lunch in Fur/Le Déjeuner en Fourrure, 2008 reflects on the influence of femininity and race in the formations of Surrealism, imagined as an encounter between the artists Dora Maar and Meret Oppenheim, and the singer and dancer Josephine Baker.
Born in Austria and recently graduated from Goldsmiths College, Ursula Mayer is shown as part of Art in the Auditorium, a programme of moving image work organised with galleries in Europe, USA, South America and the Far East.

Tags: Barbara Hepworth, Dora Maar, Ursula Mayer, Meret Oppenheim