The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Artists’ Cinema: Ursula Mayer

December 18th, 7 p.m., Gorgona Hall

Ursula Mayer is a visual artist who works primarily with film. In her work she explores the codes of cinema, elements of film narrative and conventions of the cinematographic medium. Her film works are loosely constructed fictions that enact a superimposition in which historical figures and spaces coincide, calling into question how seemingly conventional imagery is assembled. The program opens with the film Lunch in Fur, in which the audience observes an imagined encounter between Meret Oppenheim, Dora Maar, and Josephine Baker set in a modernist living room that seems haunted by memories of the avant-garde. Then follows Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, a two-channel cinematic journey through ancient sculpture, which encapsulates the manner in which ancient mythology foreshadows modern society Architecture plays a significant role, becoming an important protagonist – as we find in Erno Goldfinger’s house, with Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures in the film Interiors, or Eltham Palace in London in The Crystal Gaze. The Trilogy (Portland Place 33, Keeling House, Villa Mairea) also utilizes architecture, not just as a décor or setting, but cast as a subjective relation – as a fictional character. Mayer’s work articulates a specific interplay between the movement of the camera, the language and techniques of cinematic expression, the protagonists and architectural space. The program will present a cross-section of Mayer’s works from the last five years, including her recent film, Gonda, which premiered in Croatia, and which presents a mixture of genres. It comprises of a half-an-hour of kaleidoscopic collage, which enthralls and bewilders and is derived from a text by the controversial writer Ayn Rand.

The Lunch in Fur (2008) 8 min, 16mm / Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight (2010, double projection, 2x16mm) 7 min / The Crystal Gaze (2007) 16mm, 8 min / Interiors (2006) 5 min / Trilogy Portland Place 33, Keeling House, Villa Mairea (2005-2006) 9 min, and the new film, Gonda (2012) (HD) 30 min

Ursula Mayer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 2005 in London. She was been awarded for the Otto Mauer Preis in 2007 and was resident artist at ISCP International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York in 2011. Her films have been presented at international film festivals including Locarno, Oberhausen and Rotterdam.

Recent solo presentations include: Performa11, New York; Juliette Jongma Gallery, Amsterdam; Prospectif Cinema, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Frame, Frieze Art Fair, London; Lentos, Museum of Modern Art, Linz; Monitor, Rome; Centraal Museum, Utrecht.

Recent participations in group shows are: SculptureCentre, New York; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal; Bonnier Kunsthalle, Stockholm; MoMA PS1, New York; Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf; Garage, Moscow; Gallery Krobath, Berlin; Swiss Institute, New York; Kunsthalle Basel, Basel; EAST International, Norwich; 2nd Athens Biennial, Athens; 4thTirana International Art Biennial, Tirana; In 2012 she will take part in the 11th Baltic Triennial at CAC Vilnius, Vilnius and LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images, ICA, London she is also preparing her travelling solo exhibition for the newly opened 21haus in Vienna.

ARTISTS’ CINEMA is a new program activity of the MSU, aimed at introducing contemporary artists and their cinematic works, created at the meeting point of contemporary art and cinema, of film and visual arts. The program will present recent film/video works outside the context of social production of entertainment and spectacle. It will complete the programmatic conception of the MSU and complement the presentation of this hybrid form. We will intensify the dialog and exchange on the cultural scene of the city, connecting artists, curators, and critics with the public; in this way we will contribute to an active internationalization of the art scene engaged in moving images.

Project Manager: Tihomir Milovac / Curator: Branka Benčić

Film distribution LUX (London).

Gonda (2012) trailer

Interiors (2006)

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