The Fogo Island Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by Isa Melsheimer. The Year of the Whale features gouaches on paper and a hand-
International Archives 1st half of 2018
Exhibition March 9-
Fogo Island Newfoundland and Labrador A0G 2X0 (Canada).
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2018. All Rights Reserved
Curtain (The Year of the Whale) (2018) is a seven-
Melsheimer’s landscape evokes traditional Eastern perspective, creating a vertical sense of distance with areas left open to the imagination. The multiview-
Four gouaches depict iconic buildings encroached by rising tides and massive sea creatures. Set against dramatic darkened skies, these are human structures amidst an environment that is at once threatening and enthralling: enveloped in the tentacles of a giant octopus or confronted by a massive iceberg. Two gouaches portray a half-
Melsheimer’s depictions reflect larger concerns of the Anthropocene, the current geological epoch in which human activity has been the dominant influence on the environment. Reading Donna Haraway while in residence, Melsheimer’s works are informed by the scholar’s conception of the Chthulucene, an alternative to the Anthropocene, which Haraway critiques for continuing to privilege humans as the main actors of our age. The Chthulucene comprises “multispecies stories and practices,” contingent relationships in constant evolution. As Haraway writes, “we are at stake with each other.” Fittingly, the rich greens and browns of the rocks in the Fogo Island gouaches portray lichen, a complex life form that is itself a symbiotic partnership between two organisms.
Melsheimer’s works in the exhibition evoke ideas of embodied experience and interspecies dialogue, foregrounding unpredictable encounters and networked, “tentacular” thinking.
Curated by Alexandra McIntosh (Director of Programs and Exhibitions, FIA) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Director, Kunsthalle Wien and Strategic Director, FIA).
Isa Melsheimer lives and works in Berlin. Known for her engagement with the history of architectural styles—especially the legacy of Modernism and 1950s-
Isa Melsheimer, Curtain (The Year of the Whale), 2018. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin.