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Medea

Not in Catalogue, UK, 2013
11 minutes, 28 seconds, Colour, Sound, 16:9
Original format: 35mm film
Available formats: HD Digital file / BluRay

Mayer’s film Medea takes its starting point from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea of 1969. The ancient legend of Medea contrasts two worlds which are no longer compatible with one another – the old archaic world of Medea and the modern rational world of Jason. Both individuals, who confront each other here as representatives of their opposing systems and raise the great question of peaceful coexistence between cultures in times of globalization. Thus it is also fitting that Mayer lets the filmed scenes be repeatedly interrupted by short documentary insertions, which show extracts from the current unrest in the Arab region as they are circulating on YouTube and on television.Pasolini set Medea as a critique of western consumer societies. At the center is the Golden Fleece which plays an important role in his adaptation of Medea by Euripides. The fleece represents the sun where, if you come to close, you burn yourself. The Golden Fleece is both alluring and an object of material obsession.Ursula Mayer has brought Pasolini’s approach up to date by casting actressJD Samson in the role of Medea, a contemporary icon of Queerness and pop culture. JD Samson, the post-punk rock star, could – if she stands in the cave – be standing on a rock stage – the ritual habitus is identical.Authenticity and fiction thus stand in a quasi-artificial relation to one another, indeed overlapping each other. In this way, the film shifts prisms from magical, real and rational, to be at once thoroughly semiological and emancipatory.

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