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  [CONCEPT FILM (I). Dorit Margreiter / Ursula Mayer]

Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz

opening: 18.03.2009

Tue - Sat 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. &
Wed - Fri 3 - 6 p.m.

thanks to: Land Steiermark, Kulturabteilung; BMUKK Wien, Kunstsektion; Stadt Graz,
Kulturamt; Diagonale. Festival des österreichischen Films, BAWAG P.S.K; Generali Foundation

cooperation: Diagonale. Festival des österreichischen Films
The art association Kunstverein Medienturm (Graz, Austria) has conceived the multi-part exhibition series CONCEPT FILM, which analyses the relation of film and its representation and position within the exhibition space. Based on exemplary positions, the discussion of artists with the medium of film in an art context is analysed, which, compared to the centered and by the history of film coded field of cinema, has available more open spatial and contentual parameters and makes possible to interlink with other artistic procedures. By a conscious reference to the materiality, the production and the history of film, the invited artists shift and extend the film specific context.

The exhibition series starts with Dorit Margreiter (*1967, lives in Vienna and L.A.) and Ursula Mayer (*1970, lives in London), two important and internationally recognized artists in this context, who also tie on a crucial tradition of the latter art history with their individual and pointed handling of the cinematic context. Beside film, they work with various media, Margreiter with video, text and photography, Mayer with video, sculpture and photography. Both artists are interested in questions of image and historicity of spaces and architecture, in subjective drafts of (art immanent) processes of memory and its shifting, in a play that involves persons in a clearly defined setting, which can result in intentionally detailed, partly narrative “re-enactments”. For Margreiter and Mayer, the medium of film that is meanwhile already itself coated with a little patina, seems to open a contemporary view on (late) modernistically charged (female) characters and architectures, in order to take these respectfully and to a certain extent out of their context and confront them with a “new” story.

The building, located on 10104 Angelo View Drive in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and planned by John Lautner is a late modernistic magnificent building which impresses with immersible walls and further movable architectonic elements. Beside its hillside, it is probably just this reversal of a common static towards a movable (interior) architecture, why some Hollywood productions were shot there. Dorit Margreiter uses this house as production location for her work “10104 Angelo View Drive”, whereas she shoots the empty building, comparable to an architectural documentary, in serene, precisely framed stills. By its mechanical architectural particularity, as if precisely controlled by an almighty direction, the abandoned building seems peculiarly alive, almost wanting to tell its history itself. In short scenes, the Californian artist group “Toxic Titties” breaks the slow walk through the building, in order to bring in, by performance references, a consciously left unclear “narration” into the present cinematic setting. Beside a projection of the film, Margreiter shows an additional multi-part photo work.

Ursula Mayer’s current film “The Lunch in Fur / Le Déjeuner en Fourrure” is about a fictional conversation of Meret Oppenheim, Josephine Baker and Dora Maar. In a late modernist apartment building, the three artists let past and present merge by evoking their memories through contemplating personal objects and artworks. The suggestively circling, non linear plot develops by means of introspective images of memory, which top our historicized image of a modernist period, which is furnished with foremost male connotations and here by no means concluded: “And sometimes one can remember the same scene from one’s own past perspective – seen oneself.“
The film “Memories of Mirror / Theatrical Personalities after Mary Wigman and Madame d’Ora” shows three women dressed in luxurious dresses of the 1920s, which interpret a choreography of Mary Wigman, a pioneer of the modernist expressive dance. With abstract gestures and cautious movements, the dancers reconfigure the historically charged, here void time/space, which also is structured by the interaction of black/white and color as light and shade. Finally a mirror casts the light which penetrates the stage on the camera and thus opens a further level of communication with the audience, which topicalizes, beside formal, contentual and historical aspects also the conditions and possible consistencies of the production of film and art.

At the Amsterdam-based art association “Arti et Amicitiae“, the second part of the series CONCEPT FILM which is curated by Norbert Pfaffenbichler runs from April 4 until May 17, 2009. In the exhibition, different aspects of the phenomenon of film are analysed, like the technical basis of the illusion of movement (Gebhard Sengmüller), coded perception of space (Lotte Schreiber), elliptic strategies of narration (Ben Pointeker) or the complex relation of image and sound (Dariusz Kowalski).

Dorit Margreiter, Ursula Mayer

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Dorit Margreiter, 10104 Angelo View Drive (Prequel), 2004. C-print, 17,72 x 23,62 inch. exhibition view photo: Rainer Iglar