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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Melanie Manchot

b. 1966, Germany

'Photography is the backbone to everything I do and to how I think visually. I would suggest that most of my moving-image works, whether film or video, are strongly informed by photography - conceptually, aesthetically, in terms of their sense of time and duration. Cameras, whether still or moving, are crucial devices shaping the construction of the work. To me, cameras are not simply machines that generate the images I wish to make; more importantly, they are an organizing principle, an apparatus that becomes part of a set of relations I wish to create.'

Melanie Manchot's diverse and research-driven practice employs photography, video, film and sound. Her long-standing areas of enquiry range from portraiture to participation and performance, to questions of individual and collective identities, and to the exploration of the very particular socio-economic and ecological microclimate of a specific alpine mountain and its community. Situated at the threshold between the documentary and staged events, Manchot's work frequently involves an engagement with strangers.

Manchot's methodology is based on processes of exchange, contribution and collaboration, often involving groups or communities and creating expanded portraits of people, both their individual and social selves. The work thereby poses '... a series of related questions on how visual art might form a dialogue on notions of personhood, and how I might contribute to the ongoing investigations into different theories of the self.'

Manchot first came to prominence in the 1990s for a groundbreaking series of naked photographic portraits of her mother. When first exhibited the works received widespread attention and contributed to a growing debate around the representation of women, age and contested notions of body politics. Since 2000 Manchot has increasingly incorporated film and video installation in her work with the frame of reference expanding to include archive film, experimental film and cinematic history.

Recent projects include the multi-channel video installations Twelve (2015), an exploration of lives spent in addiction and recovery, and 11/18 (2015) a nine-screen durational studio portrait, seven years in the making, which enquires into the nature of time, duration and commitment. Out of Bounds (2016), a cinematic two-part installation shot in the Swiss Alps is part of an ongoing engagement with the landscape, culture and people of the village of Engelberg, a well known winter sports venue.

Since 1997 Melanie Manchot (born 1966, Witten, Germany) has exhibited internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2016), Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth (2016), fig-2 at the ICA, London (2015), Galerie M, Bochum (2015), the Toronto Photography Festival (2012), Nuit Blanche, Paris (2011) and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2010). Important group exhibitions include the Marl Media Arts Awards at the Museum Marl, Germany (2016), Group Therapy, FACT, Liverpool (2015), Welde Art Award, Stadtgalerie Mannheim (2014), The Rhythm Is..., Museum Folkwang, Essen (2014), Situations, Musee d'Art Contemporaine, Paris (2012), Wunder, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2011), the New Forest Pavilion at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia (2007) and Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007). Her work is included in important public and private collections including the Arts Council Collection, London, FMAC, Fonds Municipal d'Art Contemporain, Paris and the Brooklyn Museum, New York. The artist lives and works in London.

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Featured Artworks

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Cadence by Melanie Manchot contemporary artwork Melanie ManchotCadence, 2018 4K video, silent, 4 mins 11 secs
Traces by Melanie Manchot contemporary artwork Melanie ManchotTraces, 2017 C-print
100 x 150 cm
The Lake by Melanie Manchot contemporary artwork Melanie ManchotThe Lake, 2017 C-print
80 x 120 cm
Cold Blood by Melanie Manchot contemporary artwork Melanie ManchotCold Blood, 2018 C-print
80 x 120 cm
Above/Below by Melanie Manchot contemporary artwork Melanie ManchotAbove/Below, 2017 C-print
80 x 120 cm

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Melanie Manchot, White Light Black Snow at Parafin, London
27 September–17 November 2018 Melanie Manchot White Light Black Snow Parafin, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Transient Space at Parafin, London
21 July–16 September 2017 Group Exhibition Transient Space Parafin, London

Represented By

In Related Press

Transient Space review – tales of the city Related Press Transient Space review – tales of the city The Guardian : 13 August 2017

You are in a multistorey car park. You don’t know where your car is. It must be in one of the four corners, on one of the seven levels, by one of those numberless pillars. But they all look the same. You can’t leave without the car and you cannot find it in the concrete labyrinth. This is the modern city.The familiar scenario is brilliantly...

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Meditative Video Portraits Composed Over Time Related Press Meditative Video Portraits Composed Over Time Hyperallergic : 6 July 2016

Eastbourne, UK — When artist Melanie Manchot started making work in the 1990s, she was deeply influenced by gender and feminist theories. Her most well-known series from that period consists of photographs depicting her naked mother in different locations, often placed against imposing natural landscapes. Since then, Manchot's work has...

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