multiplex fiction / Ralo Mayer, Das Muster der Schatten des Spaceframe der Biosphere 2…, Exhibition view, Secession 2008, Photo: Pez Hejduk
multiplex fiction / Ralo Mayer
Das Muster der Schatten des Spaceframe der Biosphere 2, das die Sonne am 26. September 2041 auf den Boden der Savanne projiziert, ähnelt zwischen 10:24 und 14:02 auffällig einer Penrose Parkettierung; und während ich diese Zeitrafferaufnahme der Ruine mehrmals betrachte, spiegelt sich im Monitor der Blick aus dem Fenster nach draußen.
September 19 – November 9, 2008
What forms of action and cultural practices are postulated via world models and miniature universes, for example in science fiction literature? To what extent do such models reflect the social organisation and the channelling of creativity and desire in their construction and interpretation? Ralo Mayer has been pursuing the issue in the research series How to Do Things With Worlds (in collaboration with Philipp Haupt and others). In the form of scripts, performances, comic strips and scenarios in the space he has developed polyrhythmic narrative structures. Interweaving fictitious and documentary material these investigate various model worlds and the designs for space and time to be found inscribed in them.
For his exhibition at the Secession Ralo Mayer focuses on Biosphere 2, a greenhouse constructed between 1987 and 1991 in Arizona as a self-contained ecosystem in which eight scientists spent two years living in a world in miniature and experienced the visionary experiment’s failure. The vast privately financed crystal palace, which once served as a scientific test model for colonies in outer space, is a space-age ruin today. Ralo Mayer understands the BIOSPHERE 2 both as a pivot combining the atmosphere of change in the 1960s and ’70s and the associated search for alternative life-styles with current global changes, as well as being a burlesque allegory of the total control of all facets of life.
Ralo Mayer’s already long preoccupation with the topic, his understanding of his work and his working method is marked by an approach that involves performative research, a processorientated artistic production of knowledge. So he approaches the Biosphere 2 as a translator of the historical science fiction novel The Ninth Biospherian; this imaginary book only takes form through the conveying in different fragmentary situationrelated scenarios. At the Secession he shows an ensemble of interconnecting (experimental) arrangements: audio and text excerpts on clipboards, a self-contained ecosystem in a glass ball, a slow motion set reminiscent of the Chronophotographs of Eadweard Muybridge, as well as the “paratactical ruins of a documentary on Biosphere 2”.
The individual elements share the mechanisms of a dynamic interaction between crystalline and structured organisations and organic processes, featuring them in the context of post-Fordist production while challenging the possibilities and shifts resulting from the two-dimensional projection of multidimensional systems.
Further motives addressed continually in Ralo Mayer’s work are the questioning of his own position as narrator, the authorship and the interweave of fiction and reality. This becomes explicit in the exhibition’s presentation as part of the magazine Multiplex Fiction, a metamorphic collaborative publication. The ensuing video and audio realisation for the Secession have been completed in cooperation with the performer Krõõt Juurak and the musician Andreas Berger.
Invited by Sabine Bitter and Christian Teckert
Ralo Mayer, born in Eisenstadt in 1976, currently lives and works in Vienna.