Grieder Contemporary presents Gregor and the Samsas, its fourth solo exhibition featuring the artist Melli Ink.
In a revisiting of past performances, film work and her earlier occupation as a stage designer, a group of works has emerged over much of the past year that encompasses a wide range of techniques and media, including performance, costume and set design, video, photography, glass and concrete sculpture. Even the exhibition room itself has not escaped her overarching vision: vast triangular elements cover the walls, calling to mind the painted light and shadow elements of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or wall works by Gio Ponti.
The initial spark for Gregor and the Samsas is a music video that the artist made in 2016 with members of a group – the California Soft Rockers – that had, by then, disbanded; it was for their song Kill Your Friends. Ink conceived the video for a performance by the band she created at the Cabaret Voltaire, which took place during the Manifesta 11- What People Do For Money. The video depicts the band members commuting to their places of work – on the metro, by bicycle and in the car – dressed as insects: a cockroach, a fly and a spider.
What is real, what is surreal? What defines one’s feeling of identity? Through whom is it defined and, when all is said and done, what actually makes us happy? Would Kafka’s Gregor Samsa have turned into an insect without his environment? Do we ourselves define who we are?
You’re so popular on Facebook and you have a lot of friends
You’re so proud of your network ’cause it constantly expands
Even idiots from playschool, you forgot they exist
Made it through the backdoor entry to the top of your list
But everywhere you go, you bring a heavy load
So the last thing that you need – is more weight on the road
You’re a pedigree connector, a people collector
But like zombies at the door, they come back for more and more
So kill your friend’s – ’cause they’ve been never good to you
It all depends – to choose a path an follow through
Just follow through (…)
Extract from: Kill your Friends, California Soft Rockers
© Lyrics & Music by Constantin Sayn-Wittgenstein & Philipp Sayn-Wittgenstein
Melli Ink (*1972) started studying at the Parsons School of Art, Paris (1992-93) and then stage design at the Central St. Martins School of Art in London (1993-96). Following her graduation, she worked as a stage designer and artist for theatre, film and opera, including at the Royal Festival Hall, London; the British Film Institute, London; the Bloomsbury Theatre, London; the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York. Her work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions, including: Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Patrick Painter, Los Angeles; Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; Gasträume, Zürich; Avlskarl Gallery, Copenhagen; Manifesta 11, Zurich