Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
April 26 - May 25, 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 worldʼs 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 (07ʼ46”), several new paintings, and sculptural pieces.
Elevador is the story of the lift in Melanie Smithʼs building that has constant operational problems, and is
constantly patched to work for short term. The film is full of surreal situations that go round in circles and
donʼt make sense. The elevator seems to have its own mind and is constantly going up and down. 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”. Somehow it all works and everything goes on, but nothing is perfect,
and yet people are happy.
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, Smithʼs
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
(see invitation card), lips and brains, they all slip into a zone of uncertainty as some kind of potential.
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.
A comprehensive catalogue will be published on this occasion.