Parlem de "Melanie Smith. Farce and Artifice"

Tanya Barson

09 Jun. 2018
Guided tour

Parlem de Melanie Smith: Farce amd Artifice. With Tanya Barson, exhibition curator

Let’s talk about… understands exhibitions as powerful devices that activate the imagination and generate discourses that often exceed those anticipated by the institution or preconceived by the curatorial team. In Let’s talk about…, artists, thinkers and various agents, together with the visitors, activate exhibitions from concrete perspectives that generate personal readings of them.

The exhibition Melanie Smith. Farce and Artifice takes its name from one of Smith’s earlier works, an installation incorporating multiple paintings stacked in front of one another. In her work there is a continuing play between farce (implying absurdity, mockery or travesty) and artifice (meaning both artificiality and deception, and, ultimately, the ‘artifice of reason’), and she applies these concepts to contemporary society and what has been termed ‘baroque modernity’. This exhibition surveys Smith’s work from the early 1990s until today. Rather than follow a chronological arrangement, it is organised according to a series of deceptively simple themes or motifs that recur in her work: Abstraction, Urban, Colour, Body, Archaeology, Nature and Scale. This allows works from different moments in Smith’s career to be brought into juxtaposition, showing the continuities and yet also embracing tensions, conflicts, irrationality and chaos.

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