Bird Calls vs. Space Effects

Solo show

Matthias Mayer
„Bird Calls vs. Space Effects“
Performance-Installation, Painting, Mixed Media


Friday, 06.05., 16.00-20.00
with live performances by Matthias Mayer (17.00, 18.00)

Live Concert:
by SPORTY JESUS (Jens Christian Madsen, Matthias Mayer)
Saturday, 07.05., 16.00-17.00
followed by a conversation with artist, DJ and musician Kim Grønborg

Friday, 27.05., 17.00
with live performance by Matthias Mayer
and delicious meal afterwards

Sydhavnsgade 7
8000 Aarhus S.
Opening times: Thursday-Sunday, 14.00-17.00


The exhibition title "Bird Calls versus Space Effects" is also the title of the performance installation that is the focus of the exhibition, along with the painting series "The Good Life" and other mixed media objects. Matthias Mayer works at the intersection of visual art and music or sound and embodies this, among other things, in his installations, which use analog technology from the 1980s in the form of numerous tape decks to become performance venues.

The idea of the future from the perspective of earlier times is called retro-futurism. This area also includes "steampunk", which combines modern and futuristic technical functions with means and materials of the Victorian age and presents them in an idealized form. If one wanted to draw a parallel to Matthias Mayer's installations, one could create a new genre term here - based on the 1980s: "tapedeckpunk".

Sampling is used on the basis of "modern" digital technology and opens up the contextual background of the installation. Here, too, one finds oneself in an interaction between past and modern times. Bird calls from recordings made in the 1970s and so-called "space effects" produced for DJs in the 1980s form the source material for the performance installation. Forty looped samples generated from these and recorded on cassette tapes, played simultaneously over the same number of tape decks, are mixed into one another via mixers.

Bird calls compete against "space effects“. Science fiction and technology against primordiality and nature - initiated as a battle - acoustically and visually. In the installation built with scaffolding poles, two setups with twenty tape decks each face each other. The connection is created by a large console in the middle as a location for the two mixers.

The theme of composition and, to a certain extent, forms of minimalism, abstraction and pop art continue to run through the exhibition with the currently created painting series "The Good Life": large-format colorful abstract acrylic codes originally formatted in sketches as adhesive tapes and applied to large canvases in a "blow-up" process, the compositions partially painted over again, but not entirely blackened.

Pure aesthetics or yet reference to society? Obviously, the title of the painting series stands in stark contrast to what we are experiencing right now especially in Europe with the war in Ukraine and in the world with over two years of pandemic. Is a good life still possible? Is it still worth striving for? "The Good Life" seems to be nothing more than a fragment of a song line. More lyrics are not intended here either, rather a link to the effect that contrary to all dystopia, to which homage is paid here with devotion, an even stronger spirit exists in the sense of an atmosphere of optimism. The reference to Pop Art speaks for this.

New sculptural mixed-media works titled, among other things, "Fire Sculptures" complete the "match-up" or "get together" of the various media-based artworks against the background of the interaction of visual art, music and social life. All of them are not strangers to each other and belong to one family. The entire range of art, as it can be lived and experienced, is performed here. The purely aesthetically formulated artistic statement is contrasted with a polyphony of levels and meanings. The sound cacophony of the performance installation "Bird Calls vs. Space Effects" brings this to a point, so to speak. The path to enjoyment is rocky, but still possible.