Melli Ink – Gregor and the Samsas (Kill your Friends)

Exhibition

in Zürich / Switzerland
24.03.2017 - 27.05.2017 11:00 - 18:00
Melli Ink - Gregor and the Samsas (Kill your Friends)

Grieder Contemporary is delighted to present “Gregor and the Samsas”, its fourth solo exhibition featuring the artist Melli Ink. In a revisiting of past performances, film work and her earlier occupation as a stage designer, a group of works has emerged over much of the past year that encompasses a wide range of techniques and media, including performance, costume and set design, video, photography, glass and concrete sculpture. Even the exhibition room itself has not escaped her overarching vision: vast triangular elements cover the walls, calling to mind the painted light and shadow elements of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” or wall works by Gio Ponti.

The initial spark for “Gregor and the Samsas” is a music video that the artist made in 2016 with members of a group – the California Soft Rockers – that had, by then, disbanded; it was for their song “Kill Your Friends”. Ink conceived the video for a performance by the band she created at the Cabaret Voltaire, which took place during the Manifesta 11 – “What People Do For Money”. The video depicts the band members commuting to their places of work – on the metro, by bicycle and in the car – dressed as insects: a cockroach, a fly and a spider.

What is real, what is surreal? What defines one’s feeling of identity? Through whom is it defined and, when all is said and done, what actually makes us happy? Would Kafka’s Gregor Samsa have turned into an insect without his environment? Do we ourselves define who we are?

You’re so popular on Facebook and you have a lot of friends
You’re so proud of your network ’cause it constantly expands
Even idiots from playschool, you forgot they exist
Made it through the backdoor entry to the top of your list
But everywhere you go, you bring a heavy load
So the last thing that you need – is more weight on the road

You’re a pedigree connector, a people collector
But like zombies at the door, they come back for more and more

So kill your friend’s – ’cause they’ve been never good to you
It all depends – to choose a path an follow through
Just follow through (…)

Extract from: “Kill your Friends”, California Soft Rockers
© Lyrics & Music by Constantin Sayn-Wittgenstein & Philipp Sayn-Wittgenstein

Melli Ink (*1972) started studying at the Parsons School of Art, Paris (1992-93) and then stage design at the Central St. Martins School of Art in London (1993-96). Following her graduation, she worked as a stage designer and artist for theatre, film and opera, including at the Royal Festival Hall, London; the British Film Institute, London; the Bloomsbury Theatre, London; the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York. Her work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions, including: Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Patrick Painter, Los Angeles; Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; Gasträume, Zürich; Avlskarl Gallery, Copenhagen; Manifesta 11, Zurich.

Gallery hours Wed-Fri 11 am – 6 pm, Sat 11 am – 5 pm, and by appointment

Grieder Contemporary freut sich, mit “Gregor and the Samsas” die vierte Einzelausstellung der Künstlerin Melli Ink zu präsentieren. In Rückbesinnung auf frühe Performances und Filmarbeiten sowie auf ihre Arbeit als Bühnenbildnerin ist im Laufe von über einem Dreivierteljahr ein Werkkomplex entstanden, der verschiedenste Techniken und Medien – Performance, Kostüm- und Bühnenbild, Video, Fotografie, Glas- und Betonskulptur – umfasst. Selbst der Ausstellungsraum ist in das Gesamtkonzept miteinbezogen: Riesige Dreiecksflächen überziehen die Wände und erinnern an die gemalten Licht- und Schattenelemente aus “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” oder an Wandarbeiten von Gio Ponti.

Ausgangspunkt von “Gregor and the Samsas” ist ein Musikvideo, das die Künstlerin 2016 mit Mitgliedern der zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr existierenden Band California Soft Rockers für deren Song “Kill your Friends” gedreht hat. Ink konzipierte das Video für eine von ihr kreierte Performance der Band im Cabaret Voltaire, die im Rahmen der Manifesta 11 – “What people do for money” stattfand. Das Video zeigt die verschiedenen Bandmitglieder auf dem Weg zu ihrer jeweiligen Alltagsarbeit in der U-Bahn, auf dem Fahrrad oder im Auto – als Kakerlake, Fliege und Spinne.

Was ist real, was surreal? Wodurch und durch wen wird das eigene Identitätsgefühl bestimmt und wodurch letztlich das Glück? Wäre Kafkas Gregor Samsa ohne seine Umgebung überhaupt zum Käfer geworden? Bestimmen wir selber darüber, wer wir sind?

You’re so popular on Facebook and you have a lot of friends
You’re so proud of your network ’cause it constantly expands
Even idiots from playschool, you forgot they exist
Made it through the backdoor entry to the top of your list
But everywhere you go, you bring a heavy load
So the last thing that you need – is more weight on the road

You’re a pedigree connector, a people collector
But like zombies at the door, they come back for more and more

So kill your friend’s – ’cause they’ve been never good to you
It all depends – to choose a path an follow through
Just follow through (…)

Ausschnitt aus: “Kill your Friends”, California Soft Rockers
© Lyrics & Music by Constantin Sayn-Wittgenstein & Philipp Sayn-Wittgenstein

Melli Ink (*1972) studierte zunächst an der Parsons School of Art, Paris (1992-93), danach Bühnenbild an der Central St. Martins School of Art in London (1993-96). Nach ihrem Abschluss arbeitete sie als Bühnenbildnerin und Künstlerin für Theater, Film und Oper, u.a. für die Royal Festival Hall, London; das British Film Institute, London; das Bloomsbury Theatre, London; das Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; das Miller Theatre at Columbia University; New York. Sie war u.a. in folgenden Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen vertreten: Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Patrick Painter, Los Angeles; Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Gasträume, Zürich; Avlskarl Gallery, Kopenhagen; Manifesta 11, Zürich

Öffnungszeiten Mi-Fr 11 – 18 Uhr, Sa 11 – 17 Uhr, und nach Verabredung

www.grieder-contemporary.com
www.likeyou.com/melliink

Location:
Grieder Contemporary
Limmatstrasse 256
8005 Zürich
Switzerland

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