Mélanie Matranga at Manifesta 13

Artist: Mélanie Matranga

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Venue: Manifesta 13 – Les Parallèles du Sud

Exhibition Title: People

Date: October 12 – November 8, 2020

Curated By: furiosa, Monaco

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of furiosa, Monaco 

Press Release:

Notes on self

People (2020) is the possibility of a plural personal pronoun, a neutral or generic personal pronoun multiplying, interpenetrating, and flooding language. It is also the mortgage of a plural personal pronoun lysed in permanent self-affection failing in its communication with the other(s), evoking in that sense Monique Wittig’s writings: “Personal pronouns are the only linguistic instances that designate the locutors in discourse and their different and successive situations in relationship to that discourse.“ As such, they are also the pathways and the means of entrance into language. And it is in this sense – that they represent personsthat they interest us here. (1)

By transforming the exhibition into a specific cultural product from which a multiple self, in transition, attempts to unfold, Mélanie Matranga questions the grammatological reflexes of construction and representation of the self. She creates spaces where to be alone with others in which the transcription of the individual is neutralized to merge with the collective. People (2020) aims to express the complexity of the dependencies and dominations of these individuals submerged by the environment and circled by their relationships to others, both real and fantasized. Filmed in an interior (the same apartment as used for the shooting of her other film titled You, 2016), the film shows on screen a succession of dozen personalities from the artist’s entourage playing their own role in front of the camera, evoking anxiety, hypochondria, sexuality, prostitution, precariousness, and the paradoxical pleasures that flow from them.

Particularly convened in the current epidemiological context, the concept of proxemy brings together all the behavioral theories, one of the fundamental precepts of which is the social distance between people during a contact such as a dialogical or sexual relation. As such, it determines the intimate, personal, and social space, and echoes the objective and photogenic observation of People (2020) in which non-professional actors lead a quest for selftransmission – out of reach.

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With its disruptive syntax, the multiple locutors, the ambiguous relationship to melodrama (through the diachronic superimposition of voice-overs, the ellipses, the use of black and white). People (2020) evokes a fictional disorder whose degrees of performativity untie the performer, the locutor, from the character, from the person. Its polarized lexicon of attraction, its close-ups also produces an attempt to objectify unstable bodies as well as sexual relations that let out a combinatory system of insularities whose eroticism becomes: “a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.” (2) Mélanie Matranga thus draws the contours of a theorem of which People (2020) would finally be the first hypothesis.


Arlène Berceliot Courtin, October 2020 –

1. The Mark of Gender, The Straight Mind, Wittig Monique, Editions Beacon Press, 2002.
2. Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, Lorde, Audre, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series), 2007.

Link: Mélanie Matranga at Manifesta 13

The post Mélanie Matranga at Manifesta 13 first appeared on Contemporary Art Daily.

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