Ursula Mayer's practice is grounded in the semiotics of cinema. Her single and multi-channel films are crystalline circuits of images composed of signs borrowed from architecture, fashion, literature, politics, mythology, geology and visual art. These references cross multiple periods, locations and figures. Mayer uses the grammar of cinematography and montage to excavate how spatial composition, human choreography and narrative construction inform each other. Mayer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 2005. Her films have been presented at international film festivals including Locarno, Oberhausen and Rotterdam.
She has exhibited in art festivals and institutions such as Moderna Musset, Malmö; Audain Gallery, Vancouver; 21er Haus, Vienna; Ursula Blickle Foundation, Kraichtal; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Tramway, Glasgow; Performa 11, New York; 11th Baltic Triennial at CAC Vilnius; 2nd Athens Biennale; The Banff Centre, Banff; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstverein Hamburg; Lentos Museum, Linz; Bonnier Kunsthalle, Stockholm; Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf; Swiss Institute, New York; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; MoMA PS1, New York; and Kunsthalle Basel.