Artlyst Podcast: Fig-2 Curator Fatos Ustek Discusses Artist Melanie Manchot
Fatos Ustek, Art Fund Curator at fig-2, has spoken to Artlyst about the latest installation as part of fig-2's structure of fifty successive exhibitions realised on a weekly basis operating as a catalyst to manifest the aesthetic and critical currency of our times. In this instance focusing on artist Melanie Manchot.
fig-2 is a revival of the project fig-1, which was conceived and developed by Mark Francis and Jay Jopling in 2000. Experimental in its nature, each project was programmed only a few weeks in advance to maintain as much spontaneity as possible. fig-1 presented projects by Jeremy Deller, Richard Hamilton, Runa Islam, Oliver Payne and Nick Relph, Will Self, Patti Smith, Caruso St John and Philip Treacy, among others.
Melanie Manchot unveils a new body of work at ﬁg-2 produced over the last seven years. Manchot’s ‘11/18’ is a nine-channel video installation, composed of edited footage collected from ﬁlming the same person every month for the duration of one minute, recording her countenance between the ages of eleven and eighteen. Employing the restricted palette of a studio portrait and ﬁlming on analogue Super8 ﬁlm stock the work becomes an enquiry into time, duration and commitment.
Investigating the boundaries between documentary and ﬁction, ‘11/18’ comes forth as a study on the notion of subjectivity, where its constituting parts surface as gestures and mimicry. The portraits fade in and out, displaying the changes that Manchot’s subject has gone through, as her appearance and ways of relating to the camera alters. Manchot’s subject responds to the camera, as if she is responding to someone familiar and to something uncanny. ‘11/18’, thus emerges as a quest for identity and character, whilst pronouncing its inexplicable and ever-changing nature.
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Melanie Manchot (b. 1966, Witten, Germany) lives and works in London. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Hayward Gallery, London; Baltic 39, Newcastle; The Whitechapel Gallery, London; MacVal, Musee d’Art Contemporain, Paris; The Photographers Gallery, London; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Australian Museum of Photography, Sydney. Manchot has participated in a number of biennales, including The Venice Biennale in 2007 and The Istanbul Biennial in 2009. Manchot’s video installation Twelve is currently touring nationally, opening at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester on 17th September and touring to Aspex, Portsmouth and Towner, Eastbourne. In October she will have a solo show, The Gift, at Bloomberg Space, London.
Words: Fatoş Üstek, Audio: © Artlyst 2015 all rights reserved
fig-2: Melanie Manchot - ICA Studio - until 20 September 2015