Exhibitions

Melanie Smith

Elevador

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.