Jack and the Beanstalk, 2008
Mel Brimfield's complex practice takes a skewed and tangled romp through the already vexed historiography of performance art, simultaneously revealing and inventing a rich history of collaboration between artists, dancers, theatre makers, political activists and comedians.
Meticulously drawn and painted posters and programmes for fictional interdisciplinary cabarets, together with costumes and props, are produced alongside documentary-style films and live works that playfully associate performance art with most significant cultural developments of the last 100 years. Low-end showbiz memoirs, sensationalist biographical documentaries and cheap-to-make TV clip programmes compiling lists of 'The 100 Top/Best/Greatest...' are referenced in the work alongside formal museological displays of performance ephemera and documentation. The second hand anecdotes and mythologies surrounding performers and their performances are expanded, distorted and completely supplanted by new fictions, with archival photographs and footage, and authentic ephemera being appropriated and re-contextualised, or entirely invented at will.
Recent exhibitions include Future50, Project Space Leeds, Leeds UK 2008, The Comic Book Mel Brimfield, Adam Dant, Brian Dewan, John Hegley and Edward Ward, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK; Hearing Voices, Seeing Things, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK 2006 and Salon, Centre of Attention, London, UK 2001.
She also works within several collaborative projects including Brown Mountain Festival of Performing Arts, curated and produced with Sally OíReilly and Ben Roberts in association with Artsadmin, Battersea Arts Centre, Contemporary Art Society, Grizedale Arts and Sadlerís Wells, London UK and the Events programe for the Whitstable Bienale, co-curator/producer with Sally OíReilly, UK. In 2004 she was the curator and producer for the Radio Radio project, The Trade Apartment, London, UK, The International 3, Manchester, UK, De Appel Curating Institute, Amsterdam and Resonance FM, London, UK. Mel is represented by Ceri Hand Gallery.
The artist was in the following exhibitions: The Golden Record The Real Writers' Residency This artist is featured in: One In The Other