Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
April 16 - May 28, 2005
We are pleased to invite you to our third one person exhibition of Melanie Smith in our gallery.
Melanie Smith, who was born 1965 in England and has lived in Mexico City since 1989.
Parres is a little town not far from Mexico City. Although politically belonging to the megalopolis, it lies
lost between city and countryside. In addition, Parres is no longer part of the state of Morelos, which is
well known for its tropical vegetation and its volcanic origin. Parres no longer belongs therefore to
Mexico City, but owes much to the urban context, because most of its inhabitants still commute. The
new inhabitants donʼt move to Parres for the air quality, but rather for cheaper living conditions.
Housing development is fast and with few or no official permission to build. Parres is a town without
identity; there is no centre, and little sense of community. The population has little relation to the town,
although most are native Mexicans, they often come from far away and from poorer areas of the
country. During the rainy season the badly fixed roads are not passable, then a brown mud flows
beside the simple houses built of stone, wood and corrugated metal. In contrast to this setting the
houses are beautiful painted in yellow, pink or green.
Melanie Smith will show new paintings, which are titled Parres or refer to it, and other ”disappearing”
landscapes. Furthermore there is a 35mm film, converted on DVD. One sees a fair skinned woman
with a bag standing outside in the pouring rain in Parres. It seems that the rain does not disturb her.
The protagonist gives the impression that she doesnʼt know where she belongs. Maybe she is asking
herself where she belongs or respectively if she is a part of the Mexican society. In another room we
present large format paintings. These images display landscapes/views of the unspecific identity of the
town of Parres, painted in the tradition of photo-realism, in colour and black and white, but without any
traces of human life.