Saturday, 19 March 2016
Last night saw the London Premiere of Ballet Black's Triple Bill live at the Barbican, with only two nights to catch this astounding performance I was beyond excitement to be there on the opening night! This performance pulls together the company, Ballet Black which is made up of international dancers of black and Asian descent with three bold and inventive choreographers that collaborate to present, as the Barbican states, "an irresistible trilogy of narrative and abstract dance."
As the curtains drew open you could feel the anticipation in the air, the excitement, the intrigue to see what this triple performance had in store. Ballet has always been a draw for me, it brings together so many elements that remind me of the importance of the present moment. The power of the human body, strong and muscular intertwined with classical overtures that leave you breathless, all weighted in a central core narrative that is effortlessly played out. It also reminds me of my youth, when I , myself trained in ballet for over 10 years, ready to move onto point, but later let it drift away. I must admit I was new to Ballet Black and I feel sadly others are the same; where our education is rich in white bourgeois Russian dancers, and lacks the multiculturalism which is modern day living. So Ballet Black and others like it, that championed black and asian dancers is well overdue!
As the first performance started, that effortless delicacy that comes from professional dancers takes hold as they glide across the stage, extended limbs, held positions, lifts and turns, at every point you are in awe of the combined strength that filters through their core. The music, almost sporadic in its nature, heightens the glistering sequins on the ballerina's tutu, while the lights hit a shattered mirrored pendant that hangs down throwing brilliant bright shards of light across the stage. The music slows as the dancers draw back to their starting positions and we prepare ourselves for the second bill.
The light shifts, a cast of blue falls onto the stage and with this a large silk cloth flows over the dancers. It is difficult to express how this one movement of fabric automatically starts an emotive reaction that is impossible to stop. This fluid movement, intermixed with the classical scores from violin and piano was breathtaking, at that very moment I was deeply captivated, almost mesmerised as the tears rolled down my cheeks. Watching so intently, it was if time was standing still, while I was transported into another world, as two dancers intertwined where then later torn apart. This piece was extraordinary, so emotive that you could feel every part of the narrative playing through your veins. As closure approached, my heart was heavy and my eyes full of tears, a breath taking experience that will stay with me for many years.
The finale piece was Storyville, described as, "a bittersweet fable of Nola, a farm girl who falls prey to unscrupulous characters and worldly desires in 1920s New Orleans, set to the haunting music of Kurt Weill," and it surely was that! This piece was full of embrace, power, corruption and distress, lit in crimson and bold in it's style, it was a stunning finale to the triple bill.
I can wholeheartedly say that this has to be one of the best ballet's I have ever seen and an evening that I will never forget. Ballet Black is unforgettable and I shall actively be looking out for more of their performances, they are truly not to be missed!
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Saturday, March 19, 2016
Saturday, 5 March 2016
ASX, (American Suburb X) TV, bring to light the collaborative project I worked on with Brad Feuerhelm for a bespoke SPBH performance event at The Photographers' Gallery in conjunction with Aperture's Photobook Review!
Reworking the text Brad wrote centred on the Richard Peter's book, Dresden: eine Kamera klagt an Dresdener Verlagsgesellschaft Dresden, Germany, 1949. The short film is an appropriation of internet source material backed with audio, text feed into a programme creating the generated script of an American voice. The resulting work is full of programme glitches, archival imagery with an overwhelming odour of destruction. A fast and playful piece that encapsulates Feuerhelm's text, echoing the original source material of the Dresden bombings.
See and read more here - http://www.americansuburbx.com/2016/03/asx-tv-rebirth-negated-by-truant-hope-melinda-gibson-brad-feuerhelm.html
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Saturday, March 05, 2016
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
There are few things in this lifetime that can provide so much visual pleasure to so many, in a manner that seems so effortless it brings joy to the senses. But I can heartwarmingly say that the current Alexander Calder exhibition at the Tate Modern, achieves this and more. The show, if you have not yet had the pleasure to experience it, is bewilderingly beautiful. As I write this now, I feel the hairs on my neck and down my spine stand to attention, as if my fight-or-flight response had just materialised, but not to flee, but to bare witness to the poetic fluidity of Calder's world.
From the moment you enter into the somewhat crowded room, you are immediately struck with a sense of calm, a graceful, almost peaceful aura washes over you as you read the introduction and start to weave through the rooms. Your eyes widening and widening through every exploration of figure, shape, structure and movement. Figures appear out of the walls, spinning and turning with a delicately that is truly stunning. At times it is if you are staring into another world, drop shadowed figures metamorphose right before your very eyes. But all this in the absence of sound. In a day an age that is full of loud, crash, bang, wallops, this silence is a mystifying magic.
As you meander along the journey, for it really does feel like you are being taken on a superlative tour, more visual pleasures are awaiting you. As the audience glide through the exhibition the works move in tandem, responding to the weight and movement of air which are constantly being created and shifted in what seems spontaneity. But of course, is reactionary to the elegant nature of these works. The environment is so paramount to their movements, it is almost as if the works can not exist alone and us without the works.
Room by room you are filled with joy as each movement is unique and each weightless in its nature. Spherical shapes, poignant coloured objects all interlinked with blackened wire frame what could be seen as a new galaxy, a scientific experiment, but all we miss are the scribbles of finds on a piece of paper, to the grand scale mobiles that physically leave you breathless.
Language is powerful, but this exhibit touches your senses, your very humanity in a way that is almost too difficult to describe. It is most certainly one of the best exhibitions I have seen in this country and absolutely a Tate Triumph.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Continuing my tour of Universities this year, tomorrow see's me talk about my practice, part of the Photography Alumni Event at the London College of Communication, where this year, see's a decade since I graduated!
Although that makes me feel very old indeed, I thoroughly look forward to talking to the students and offering some tips on how to enjoy the journey.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Thursday, February 18, 2016
Friday, 22 January 2016
"Ever since the earliest photographic technologies, bushwhackers have willfully deviated from marked trails, but never, it seems, have more renegades tweaked convention than in the past decade or two. Digital processes have dematerialized photography, and artists have taken it upon themselves to rematerialize it in inventive, idiosyncratic ways."
Very, very pleased to see that my current group exhibition at ROSEGALLERY has been selected as the Critic'c Choice in the LA Times. The article talks of the exhibition, "Her First Meteorite, Volume 2" at the gallery and Leah Ollman writes about the show.
It articles details, "Melinda Gibson and Thomas Sauvin's "Lunar Caustic" images are the oddly urgent consequences of an act of rescue followed by an act of violation. The prints, made from a salvaged archive of Chinese vernacular negatives, have been bathed in acid, distorting their hues and tones, freckling the surfaces with rusty spots. The records have been preserved, only to be handed over to the forces of entropy."
Read more from the Review here:
See more from ROSE GALLERY here: http://www.rosegallery.net/
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Friday, January 22, 2016
Thursday, 14 January 2016
So 2016 has arrived and I can't believe just how quickly the time is going already, how can November be booked up. Before I know it, I'll be preparing Christmas Cards and writing my wish list to Mr Claus himself! 2015 was an extraordinary year, with many exciting exhibitions and adventures and I have a distinct feeling that 2016 is going to be no different - just the way I like it.
2016 kicks off with talks and lectures. I am very pleased to be continuing my lecturing at Camberwell College of Art, but will also be doing some one off talks around the country at different universities; my first this year will be the wonderful Bournemouth University.
I am very pleased to say that I will be talking at The Photographers' Gallery in February, to the launch a new magazine, Co-Curate, where I contributed a piece of writing to the project. This new limited edition magazine is co-curated by Isabelle Evertse and Aaron Schuman, taking the idea of collaboration and pairing off writers with artists. More coming on the launch and the surrounding events soon.
And very, very, very excitingly, I have another set of Lunar Caustic images awaiting me, as another 300, 000 negatives get sent for my perusal - I can't wait!!! More to come on the next chapter, but I eagerly await the delivery and prepare my hands for the Silver Nitrate!
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Thursday, January 14, 2016
Monday, 21 December 2015
Every year I pick up my paint brushes, pencils and sit down before all the festivities start, to make my Limited Edition Christmas cards, and this year is no different. Based on a homage to a great artist, thinker or creative that I have found to be inspirational for that year, 2015's cards are based on the wonders that are Joseph Cornell.
Creating an edition of 75 cards, I created 3 designs entitled, Constellation Ballerina, Reindeer Leap and Princess Christmas, all cards have now been sent and received, I wonder which one you received!
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a magical Christmas. I hope that it is filled with much happiness and it has been an absolute pleasure working with all and I thoroughly look forward to what 2016 brings. Let's raise a glass to 2015 and await the excitement of 2016!
I am delighted to currently be exhibiting in ROSE GALLERY's second installation, Her First Meteorite, Volume II, a selection of process based photographs that features the work of seven artists. The exhibition will be on view from 12 December 2015 through 6 February 2016.
By stepping outside traditional processes to rediscover the photographic medium, Melinda Gibson, Kenneth Graves, Yoko Kanayama, and Summer Mann, utilize secondary processes and photographic collage in order to blur the boundaries of selfidentity and complicate the understanding of contemporary cultures. By focusing on the use of details and multiple layers within the photographic process, Gibson, Graves, Kanayama and Mann bring to light the socio-cultural narratives within the historical and contemporary urban landscape.
Here are some installation shots of this wonderful show. More information can be found on the gallery website here:
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
I am absolutely delighted to be exhibiting in the second volume of the much inspired show at ROSEGALLERY, Her First Meteorite, Volume 2, which opens on Saturday 12th December.
Presenting the second installment of Her First Meteorite, a selection of process based photographs that features the work of seven artists: Dirk Braeckman, James Gallagher, Melinda Gibson & Thomas Sauvin, Ken Graves, Yoko Kanayama, Summer Mann and Sebastian Riemer. The exhibition will be on view from 12 December 2015 through 6 February 2016.
From experimenting with light sensitivities of unconventional photographic papers, to repurposing salvaged negatives, the use of secondary processes within Her First Meteorite, Volume II, challenges the boundaries of the medium of photography. By allowing the works to enter the world of the surreal, this exhibition invites the viewer to question the identity of the visuals presented.
Read more here and don't miss this beautiful show -http://www.rosegallery.net/exhibitions/herfirstmeteorite/vol2
I am excited to be taking part in this years annual Fishbar Photo Market, opening its door on Saturday the 12th December! Every year the Fishbar, based in Dalston Lane opens it doors for a photo market that brings together publishers, artists and photobook fanatics to enjoy all the delights that are on offer. From Chris Steele-Perkins, Morel, to Inge Morath to SPBH Editions, I am very excited to be taking part and show casing all my publications alongside three pieces of my new series.
Open daily from 11am from the 12th December, running through to the 20th, it is surely going to be a fun filled, festive following of photobook fanatics!
See more here - http://fishbar.ph/
Thursday, 26 November 2015
If you didn't manage to get along to TPG on Monday afternoon or forgot to stream the talk live, do not worry as the video is now available to see on The Photographers' Gallery YouTube Channel, in this link here - https://youtu.be/EvJSpRINmME?t=15m46s
It is best to watch from 15m46s, as the first 15 minutes are behind the scenes. In someways it is like watching a silent movie, but without an dramatic chorus or music to elevate our speech!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable conversation which brought up some key issues around the idea of audience interaction, performance and what the medium of the photobook can be. More video's available from the other talks, all part of the SPBH Business As Usual - Week residency at TPG.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Thursday, November 26, 2015
Thursday, 19 November 2015
To celebrate the launch of the new SPBH Book, published by Aperture, Self Publish Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto, I am very pleased to announce that I will be doing an, 'In Conversation' with Mr Bruno Ceschel, part of the Self Publish Be Crafty - Business As Usual Residency at The Photographers' Gallery on Monday 23rd November from 16:00 pm. We will also be joined by a young artist, former student of ours, from the Camberwell College of Art, Liam Magee. It looks to be a great afternoon, discussing our practice and of course the notion of the book.
Here is a little excerpt about the book, which features my first publication, The Photograph As Contemporary Art.
"An economic and cultural revolution has shaken the photobook world in the last five years: self-publishing. An army of photographers operating as publishers have had an instrumental role in today’s photobook renaissance. This book offers a do-it-yourself manual and a survey of key examples of self-published success stories, as well as a self-publishing manifesto and list of resources."
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Thursday, November 19, 2015
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