Statement #07 | Ralo Mayer — The Tower, the Expo, the Echo, the Cell

Performance, January 9, 2020, 6 pm
Duration approx. 1 hour

Artistic research not only informs an artist’s aesthetic experience but also creates the necessary framework for reflecting on relevant artistic practice beyond the bounds of one’s own endeavours while keeping an eye on one’s own actions. Ralo Mayer‘s extensive studies are defined by the concept of “performative research”, a process-driven method of artistic research. Performative research is embedded in social, historical and cultural contexts and uses aids like scripts, roles and props to describe the world and give shape to it at the same time.

“When I begin a project, I try to research an object, but what I end up finding are stories”, says Ralo Mayer in explaining his performative practice, which is typically expressed in lecture performances, exhibitions and installation settings. With The Tower, the Expo, the Echo, the Cell, Mayer explores in an exemplary way not only the relationship between nature and society and the fragile wall between them, but also the interaction between experimentation and draft versions of a life in space and the realities of life on earth. Objects like space shuttles, artificial ecosystems, post-Fordist reality and digital culture are woven into multi-layered narratives, which Mayer translates into cross-media ensembles via installation, film, text and performance – thus creating, in the widest sense of the word, ecologies of contemporary history.

In the Kunstraum Lakeside, Mayer presents stories of the artist’s trip to Japan in the form of statements and tells of the search for an ultimately vanished tower – built for Expo 1970 in Osaka – which became the inspiration for an ecological spaceship. In his spatial, cross-media collage and his lecture performance, he creates connections between seemingly unrelated spatial and temporal events. In this way, Mayer addresses cultural transfers and echoes as well as the concept of “serendipity” – not merely in the sense of fortunate coincidence but as part of his artistic research.

Ralo Mayer (b. 1976 in Austria) lives and works in Vienna.


Ralo Mayer, The Tower, the Expo, the Echo, the Cell, 2018 | Bildrecht