The exhibition is currently in production to be realised in Berlin. The current text consists of the initial proposal for exhibition spaces.
Artist: Brigitte Maria Mayer
The Book of Revelations is perhaps the most intriguing and obscure book in the Bible, set in an atemporal space it contrasts strongly with other moments of the book where narration unfolds in a determinate space and time. Revelations is set in an indeterminate future and its inevitable conclusion always lurking in our minds. Even to those not familiar with the writings the concept of the Apocalypse is overall well known, exhaustively reproduced and explored in popular culture through movies, books, and television shows.
With this new body of work, Mayer explores the infinite representation possibilities of the Apocalypse, creating alternative imagery that connects her source to immediate topics of today’s politics, identity, economics, and social behavior. An overall arc of the end of times unfolds with all its core characters that are intrinsically connected by the narrative, and expand independently to different realms of meaning. Individually, Mayer’s artworks have worlds of their own, allowing visitors to unravel narratives and juxtapositions. Just like in our world today, no argument is linear, no answer is final.
The cinematic is present throughout the series to convey drama and immediacy. The gold background is a constant imposing presence that dialogues with contemporary theatre and the Byzantine period heavenly representations, both elements merge in a progression of scenes, as in a film that reveals itself all at once.
The Revelation iconography throughout art history has not been an easy subject to portrait, the stories miss visual tangibility and clear subject definition allowing alternative representations. This plurality also resonates in today’s multiple narratives unfolding simultaneously in the public sphere in Europe. If the rise of right populist parties across Europe contrast with increasing feminism, queer and other minorities achievements are perhaps caused by a society that is failing in understanding the other. The stark isolation that Mayer imposes to her subjects in this immaterial golden apocalyptical world becomes in itself a comment to intellectual isolationists behavior. In this situation, the other becomes any other presence outside ourselves, an unknown specimen.
Mayer’s series Reveal is a journey through despair, violence, beauty, and hope. By directing and orchestrating elements and characters, the artist offers a multi-universe of narratives that go beyond the Book of Revelation and rapidly overtakes our nurtured intellectual and political positions. The artworks offer to the viewer an inner debate, in one side Mayer’s portraits and on the other the viewer’s gaze. The iconography is formed by both, the artist and the viewer, the end of the world as a way to rediscover our own times.
Brigitte Maria Mayer is a photographer, director, and producer, based in Berlin. Born in 1965 she grew up in a small Catholic city in Bavaria before she studied photography and performance at the Hochschule für visuelle Kommunikation Kassel (1986-1990). Her work is known for the adaption of mythologic and historical subjects. Recurrent she deals with the topic of trauma and sexual identity. She was married to the dramatist Heiner Müller until his death in 1995, with whom she has one daughter Anna Müller.