Piet Zwart Institute Presents: Special Screening Ursula Mayer
In collaboration with WORM, Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art is delighted to host a screening of four films by artist Ursula Mayer in the presence of the artist, who will participate in a post-screening discussion and Q+A moderated by writer, curator, and MFA tutor Mike Sperlinger. Seating is limited, we encourage you to arrive in time. Free entrance to MFA students/teachers-staff only!
Atom Spirit, 16mm in HD, 20 min, 2016
Set in Trinidad and Tobago, ATOM SPIRIT acts as a nexus where race, gender, postcolonialism and technology intersect. Traversing simulated and virtual platforms, alongside scientific, ecological and social spaces, the film creates completely mixed, interpenetrating realities where interrogations of the postcolonialism, ecology and queerness can take place. Thus ATOM SPIRIT builds a palimpsest of trajectories, not just through making alliances between different organic and cybernetic entities, but also through tracing the legacies of colonialism and capital into our current moment of neoliberal dominance.
Gonda, 16 mm HD transfer, 28.05 min, 2012
Gonda is experimenting in cinematic and linguistic registers through a polyphonic monologue. The films screenplay is written by Maria Fusco and was developed from a series of interdisciplinary workshops, which included academics, curators, critics, and writers. Gonda is informed by Ayn Rand’s 1934 play ‘Ideal.’ As a critical counter to Rand’s position, Gonda creates kaleidoscopic printed spaces in which image and text shift roles to affect presupposed ideals of identity and existence.
Medea, 35 mm HD transfer, 13.20 min, 2012
The ancient legend of Medea contrasts two oppositional worlds – the old archaic world of Medea and the modern rational world of Jason. With a script by academic Patricia MacCormack, Mayer riffs on Pasolini’s version of ‘Medea’ (1969), a version that enacts the collision between ancient ritual and modern rationality. Mayer’s rendition of Medea moves the narrative still further, to meditate upon the possible emancipatory potentials of renegotiated gender formations and posthuman ontology. Postgender Riot Grrrl JD Samson plays both the characters of Medea and Jason, with the distinction between these individuals becoming increasingly fluid and interchangeable. This ever-diminishing dance between Medea and Jason, as archetypal exemplars of the male/female binary distinction, finally implodes.
Cinesexual, 16 mm double projection, 3.44 min, 2014
Cinesexual shares the same basic configuration as Snow’s piece, presenting differing perspectives, and thus perceptions, of the same event. Mayer takes Snow’s collapse of the single viewpoint found in typical film and the subsequent expansion of the cinematic space into the realm of the viewer. ‘Cinesexual’ uses
this spatial expansion as a platform though which to interrogate the relationship between subject and object, and the roles of gender and representation meted out through film.
Ursula Mayer completed her MFA at Goldsmiths University in London in 2004. She has received critical accolades, including the prestigious Derek Jarman Award in 2014 for experimental film. Her internationally exhibited practice spans a range of media, including film, video and sculpture. Using the grammar of cinematography and montage, Mayer’s practice strives to indicate how spatial composition, human choreography and narrative construction inform and contribute to one another. Through her poetic treatment of film Mayer interweaves myth, biopolitics and the semiotics of cinema to visualize and ruminate upon future post human ontology. Recently her works have been on display at the Hayward Gallery, London; SeMA Biennale Mediacity, Seoul; THE NEW HUMAN in Moderna Museet, Stockholm & Moderna Museet Malmoe; Salzburger Kunstverein. Upcoming solo shows include HOME, Manchaster and Vleeshal, Middelburg.
Mike Sperlinger is a writer and curator based in Oslo. As well as teaching at Piet Zwart, he is currently Professor of Writing at the Oslo Academy of Fine Art. He has written many catalogue texts, including recently for exhibitions by Ed Atkins, Ruth Buchanan and Gerard Byrne, and has also contributed to a variety of publications including Afterall, Dot Dot Dot, Radical Philosophy and Texte zur Kunst. He is the editor of several publications, including Afterthought: New Writing on Conceptual Art (2005), Foxtrot Echo Lima Tango (about the British band Felt, together with artist Christian Flamm, 2010), Here Is Information. Mobilise (a selection of writings by the late artist Ian White 2016) and TRACKS: An Anthology (a selection from a 1970s journal of artists writings, together with original editor Herbert George, 2017). Previously he was Assistant Director of LUX, a London-based organisation for artists working with the moving image.