Ursula Mayer

Ursula Mayer – Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

Opening February 25th 2010, 7 p.m.

(Italian text below)

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

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;

Until March 31th 2010


Ursula Mayer – Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

Opening 25 Febbraio 2010 ore 19.00

A distanza di tre anni dalla sua prima apparizione in Italia negli spazi di Monitor nel 2007, la galleria è ora lieta di presentare la seconda personale di Ursula Mayer.
La più recente ricerca filmica della Mayer decostruisce letteralmente gli elementi della narrazione cinematografica: i numerosi flashback che interrompono i suoi film rivelano la natura a-narrativa dei lavori, mettendo in discussione la convenzione cinematografica di una linearità temporale.
Nella sua ultima doppia installazione 16mm dall’ affascinante titolo Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight un bassorilievo di età classica raffigurante il mito di Medea rappresenta per un gruppo di attori il punto di partenza di una performance che traspone l’immobilità archetipa del fregio nel gioco di un antico rituale con richiami che vanno dall’avanguardia alla danza contemporanea.
A differenza dei precedenti film della Mayer, in cui figure misteriose sospese in una cornice senza tempo coesistevano in momenti differenti senza mai incontrarsi, quest’ultima opera sembra suggerire una possibile sincronicità di tempo e storia.
Qui la collusione tra l’identità certa del film e della storia di finzione rinforza lo spazio artificiale del cinema amplificandone la costruzione autoanalitica e l’interruzione cronologia della struttura filmica.
Insieme a Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Ursula Mayer presenterà un nuovo corpo di lavori inediti realizzati appositamente per la personale romana: materiali preziosi quali marmo, oro, bronzo vengono usati dall’artista per le loro proprietà estetiche e per il loro valore intrinseco divenendo così chiave di lettura per questioni più complesse quali i riferimenti culturali ed economici ad essi riferiti. Queste sculture dalle forme delicate e amorfe, che suggeriscono da una parte il sapore del reperto archeologico, dall’altro il riferimento al design modernista, si affiancano ad un piccolo film inedito della Mayer, realizzato durante la sua permanenza a Roma, in cui in una proiezione in 16mm si intreccia una successione di immagini monocrome di marmi colorati trovati in vari luoghi della capitale ed appartenenti all’età imperiale, simbolo allo stesso tempo di lusso, bellezza e potere.
La mostra di Ursula Mayer è accompagnata da un testo di Mike Sperlinger.

Ursula Mayer

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;

Fino al 31 Marzo 2010