Peter Kilchmann

Melanie Smith

26 Apr - 25 May 2012

© Melanie Smith
26 April – 25 May 2012

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present the fifth solo exhibition of Melanie Smith. Born in 1965 in Dorset, England, with a degree in Fine Arts from Reading University, UK, the artist has lived in Mexico City since 1989. Her first-hand experience with the contradictions inherent in the world’s third largest megalopolis that is undergoing rapid economic and cultural expansion is intrinsic to her practice. Smith will show her recent work that consists of the video Elevador (07’46”), several new paintings, and sculptural pieces.
Elevador depicts the absurd story behind the lift in in Melanie Smith’s building that has constant operational problems, and is constantly patched to work short term. Through its constant shifts and interruptions the elevator presents a series of surreal situations that short circuit themselves. Every time the door opens, reality appears to dissipate more and more. For the artist, this is a metaphor for modernity in general in Mexico: “It never catches up on itself, and it stutters and stammers onto the next phase and is full of unreal solutions”.
The sculptures and paintings continue the playful disconnection from reality apparent in the video, and act as an introduction and reference to what can be seen in the film. Every time becoming more abstract, Smith’s paintings create an elusive pictorial space that somehow interrupts reality, but at the same time does not define it. They break with the world and yet form another world, just like the sculptural pieces do. From geometric forms, colors, and undefined shapes to pieces that have much to do with the body, like fingers, lips and brains, they all slip into a zone of uncertainty as some kind of potential. Similarly, the elevator embodies vacuoles of non-communication that spark alternative forms of agency.
After her great success of representing Mexico in the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011, Melanie Smith will open her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany at the Villa Merkel, in Esslingen (near Stuttgart) on April 22nd.

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