Inspired by the visual acuity of renowned contemporary filmmakers, the work connects and collapses individual recollections in which everyday situations, events and activities are rendered dramatic or abstract and infused with tragedy, pathos and humour.
Over the last two years Manchot has worked in dialogue with twelve people in recent recovery from substance misuse, in rehabilitation communities in Liverpool, Oxford and London. TWELVE is directly informed by their personal written and oral testimonies, creative conceptions, and performances within the final works. Single sequences are shot as continuous takes, referencing iconic scenes from the films of Michael Haneke, Gus van Sant, Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman – a ferry journey across the Mersey, a darkened room looking out on to an early morning street, a car wash, the cutting of daisies with small scissors, the obsessive cleaning of a floor – providing the framework for reflections on remembered incidents and states of mind. TWELVE employs a diversity of cinematic technique and tropes adapted by Manchot to reveal the complex and non-linear nature of recovery.
Melanie Manchot is a London based visual artist who works with photography, ﬁlm, video and installation as part of a performative and participatory practice. Her projects often explore specific sites and public spaces in order to locate notions of individual and collective identities, investigating particular gestures and forms of movement or activities that become the marker of a group or community. Manchot’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries, museums and film festivals internationally including at Whitechapel Gallery and The Photographers’ Gallery, London; MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow; GoMA, Glasgow; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon.
To coincide with the exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, Manchot has developed a series of workshops with people from the North West in long-term recovery. With the support of The Priory Clinic, the participants are each exploring their experiences in the cycle of addiction and recovery and their reactions to the video work to produce a series of artworks to be shown at poster-sites across Manchester from the 11 September – 2 October 2015.