Melanie Gilligan

Born Toronto, Canada, 1979

Selected Exhibitions

2007 Genesis, I’m Sorry, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (group)
La Commune, Serpentine Gallery, London (group)
2006 Motore Immobile, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (group)
2006 Immaterial Labor, Columbia University, New York (group)

Melanie Gilligan The Miner’s Object 2006

Melanie Gilligan
The Miner’s Object 2006
© the artist

Art Now Live presents the European premiere of The Miner’s Object, by Melanie Gilligan, a performance in which an actress portrays a storyteller and recites a text scripted by the artist. The actress tells a series of stories within stories which she reads from a pair of conspicuously placed teleprompters designed to give the impression that the speaker is making a direct connection with the audience.

This strange parable begins with a miner discovering a mysterious object and leads to a conversation between two men swapping tales after work. As the narrative unfolds it reveals that what is being investigated within the piece is the way we understand and communicate our knowledge and perceptions. The actress points out at the start of her tale, ‘Storytelling, as Walter Benjamin said, “does not aim to convey the gist of an event the way that information or a report does. Instead it submerges it into the life of the storyteller”.‘

In other works, such as Prairial, year 215 2007 Gilligan examines relations between politics, aesthetics and their political economy. Writing sits at the heart of Gilligan’s practice and she is known for her critical contribution to art magazines and journals as well as her own artwork.