FOCUS ON: Nathaniel Mellors’ new film Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time

7 May 2016

Event times

1pm Screening
2pm Panel Discussion

Cost of entry

FREE. Booking through Eventbrite

Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Preston, United Kingdom


Save Event: FOCUS ON: Nathaniel Mellors’ new film Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time

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Sat 7 May, 2pm Panel Discussion AND 1pm Screening
Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square Preston, PR1 2PP
FREE Booking through Eventbrite essential:



Nathaniel Mellors: Winner of Contemporary Art Society Award, international artist and director of Ourhouse, Ep:-1 Time currently exhibited at Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Maeve Connolly: Author of TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television and academic

Mick Peter: Artist

Laura Dee Milnes: Performer, writer and curator

Meet award-winning artist Nathaniel Mellors and guests who will discuss his new film work Ourhouse, Ep:-1: Time, within the context of his broader practice, TV and film.

Mellors' film series Ourhouse is one of the most ambitious moving image works to be produced by any artist in recent years, integrating a vast range of iconic and obscure references from art history, cinema, theatre and television. Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time is framed as a prequel to the series, which is structured around the mildly obsessive pursuits of the Maddox-Wilson family. Unfolding within and across the interiors and surfaces of Preston Bus Station, Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time follows the family as they undertake a journey through time, fuelled by probiotic yogurt ingestion and facilitated by an unplumbed toilet. Through this absurd narrative, Mellors investigates concepts of evolution and devolution and proposes intriguing parallels between the infrastructures of bodies and buildings.

The discussion will situate Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time within the wider context of Mellors’ work and consider some of the following questions: What makes the form of the ‘prequel’ interesting and useful as a way to explore ‘time’ now? How is temporality materialised in architecture? How is intelligence, both human and non-human, conceived in the world of Ourhouse-1? Is Preston Bus Station a location in the conventional sense of film and television production, or was Ourhouse-1 conceived specifically as a response to this site? How does Ourhouse-1 differ from, or connect with, generic TV production its strategies of casting, editing and soundtrack composition?

Currently on show in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery's current exhibition Nothing Happens, Twice until 4 Jun.

This event is FREE but you can make a donation to our registered charity, the Friends of the Harris if you wish.  Donations will support the museum and art gallery's work in the future. 

Nathaniel Mellors new film commission Ourhouse, Ep.-1: Time is presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015, through the Annual Award funded by the Sfumato Foundation with the support of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the Mondriaan Foundation and Arts Council England.  Commissioned by the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston. Produced by NOMAD and Nathaniel Mellors.

Speakers' Biographies:

Nathaniel Mellors was born in Doncaster and is based in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include The Box LA, (2016), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; De Hallen, Haarlem; and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam. Recent group shows include Nothing Happens, Twice, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, (2016), The Great Acceleration – Taipei Biennial (2014), British Art Show 7 – In The Days of the Comet (2010-11); Altermodern at Tate Britain (2009); and the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. In 2009, Mellors was commissioned by the BBC to make a short work of art to introduce the final episode of the cultural history series The Seven Ages of Britain and in 2013 made a short for Channel 4 through the Jarman Award. He is the 2011 recipient of the Cobra Art Prize. Mellors studied at the Ruskin School, Oxford University (1996-99), the Royal College of Art, London (1999-2001), and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2007-09).

Maeve Connolly is a Dublin based writer, lecturer and researcher and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dublin, with an interest in changing cultures and economies of art and media practice.

Her book TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television (Intellect, 2014) charts the changing status of television as cultural form, object of critique and site of artistic intervention. Previous publications include The Place of Artists’ Cinema: Space, Site and Screen (Intellect, 2009), an examination of social, economic, political and cultural conditions shaping the production and exhibition of artists’ film and video since the 1990s, and The Glass Eye: Artists and Television (Project Press, 2000, co-edited with Orla Ryan), a collection of artists’ projects and texts exploring the televisual.

Her writing has appeared in numerous edited publications and journals including Frieze, Art Monthly, Afterall, Artforum and Third Text.

Mick Peter lives in Glasgow, UK. Recent solo shows include Pyramid Selling at the Drawing Room, London and Tramway, Glasgow. His work was included in Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, featuring in BBC4’s Scotland’s Art Revolution: The Maverick Generation. Recent group shows include, Puddle, Pothole, Portal, at Sculpture Centre, New York, British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe's Edges in the Long '90s and Today at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw and in 2010, The British Art Show 7.

Laura Dee Milnes is a performer, writer and curator who works collaboratively in the arts, across disciplines, and adopts different roles in each project she undertakes.  Her interests lie in live art and performance, visual art, installation and site-specificity and her work as an artist, curator and producer reflects this.  She make performance based art works that explore, expand and explode my autobiography and I seek out my identity through personas, perception, perspective and prejudice.

Ourhouse, Ep. -1: Time is exhibited as part of Nothing Happens, Twice which runs until Sat 4 June.


Samuel Beckett / John Bock / Mel Brimfield / Broomberg & Chanarin / Pavel Buchler / Common Culture (Ian Brown, David Campbell and Mark Durden) / Steph Fletcher / Pat Flynn / Willum Geerts / Hilde Krohn Huse / Nathaniel Mellors / Sally O’Reilly / Hardeep Pandhal / Pierrick Sorin / Mladen Stilinovic / Bedwyr Williams


Nothing Happens, Twice uses the theatre of the absurd as its starting point, exploring notions of repetition, farce and tragicomedy. It includes a major new film commission by Doncaster-born, international artist Nathaniel Mellors, with whom the museum won the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award in 2014.


The exhibition includes four other new commissions by Pavel Buchler, Common Culture, Hardeep Pandhal and Sally O’Reilly, as well as film, sculpture and painting by 11 other leading contemporary artists. The exhibition title is taken from academic Vivien Mercier’s description of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, as ‘a play in which nothing happens, twice’. 


Beckett, as with many of the artists in this exhibition, deconstructs notions of time, using it as a malleable medium to orchestrate absurdist scenarios. The works highlight the absurdity of the human condition in our relationship to each other, the natural world and the metaphysical, confronting us with situations that might, in some ways, be analogous to our own.


Nathaniel Mellors new film commission, Ourhouse, Ep.-1: Time, has enabled him to create his most ambitious work to date. This absurdist drama, which is shot in various locations around Preston features an eccentric family who inhabit Preston’s iconic, brutalist bus station. It has a TARDIS-like interior, subjecting them to a series of fantastical events while finding themselves inundated by Neanderthals. The main character Charles 'Daddy' Maddox-Wilson played by Richard Bremmer, has invented a revolutionary new theory of time - but the family's subsequent attempts at time-travel see them duped, cannibalised and trapped inside a permanent present.


Nothing Happens, Twice is part of Dance First, Think Later, a 15 month contemporary art programme exploring notions of performativity and the human condition; tragicomedy and absurdity curated by Clarissa Corfe.




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