Open Ended Now / Melanie Manchot
MAC/VAL: Oct 20, 2018 – Feb 24, 2019

Melanie Manchot / Walk (Square) 2011

Melanie Manchot / Walk (Square) 2011

Melanie Manchot / Walk (Square) 2011

Melanie Manchot / Walk (Square) 2011

Melanie Manchot / Walk (Square) 2011

For the first time in France, a major solo exhibition of Melanie Manchot’s work is presented at MAC/VAL through February 24, 2019. Nearly twenty years of her creations are included in the exhibition, composed of video installations and photographs produced between 1988 and 2018. By walking through them, in an single room organized as a film set, we can appreciate a global vision of her work, and the links between the pieces.

 

Melanie Manchot / 11-18

Melanie Manchot / 11-18

Melanie Manchot is a German artist living in London who studied photography and later arts & education. Driven by the questioning of individual and collective identities and the exploration of communities, Manchot develops portraits, participations, and performances. Through a process of collaboration and exchange, she involves herself with close relatives as well as strangers.

 

Melanie Manchot / Tracer

Melanie Manchot / Tracer

The artist’s work unveils different relationships and tensions between the individual and the group. Focused on the way the body interacts with the public space, she explores diverse actions, exchanges and gestures that happen between a person and the community’s spaces. She pushes the boundaries between the public and private, by creating situations where intimate gestures are made public: like a group of Ibiza’s club security guards undressing until they are completely naked on the street. By doing so, she analyzes different roles played in various social groups, and shows how a simple gesture can make us vulnerable where we were once strong and well protected.

 

Melanie Manchot / Tracer

Melanie Manchot / Tracer

A big part of her work is to recreate public rituals, like dancing, to constitute a social body where sharing and exchanging are the main activities. The performance is then filmed to be exhibited and to remain as documentation. For example, we stumble upon a video of a group of people following the directions of a specialist who tells them what step to take next, until they are all synchronized and become one. Or a dancing video, where we can’t hear the music. The participants all have headphones and are dancing different styles: tango, flamenco, can-can, or others. We can only hear their steps and see the movements of their bodies and clothes, and somehow, we are absorbed by it. We are shown a new perspective, as if a new ritual was being born. We focus on the private moment that occurs when a couple dances, and at the same time on the collective action when a group gets together to practice a movement.

 

Melanie Manchot / Dance (All Night, Paris) 2011

Melanie Manchot / Dance (All Night, Paris) 2011

Her idea of constantly making the private and the public spheres dialogue can also be expressed on a personal level. Sleeping and dreaming are things we cannot experience together as a group, but through a series of videos, Manchot makes this activity one that is communal. By filming different people falling asleep in Mexico City’s parks and asking them to share their dreams, we participate in a collective experience.

 

Melanie Manchot / 100

Melanie Manchot / 100

Entering this exhibition, we feel part of a new work of art, being created on the film set produced by the museum. We enter the artist’s world and experience the different pieces as in a movie theater, making the personal encounters of those involved as our own. Manchot shows us a society always moving, where diversities and different people exist, where sharing and being vulnerable brings us together.

 

Open Ended Now / Melanie Manchot
October 20, 2018 – February 24, 2019 / MAC/VAL
Visit the exhibition page >

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