Melanie Manchot – MOSCOW GIRLS and other stories

Melanie Manchot

Moscow girls and other stories

7.4. – 28.5.2006

“Moscow Girls and other stories” is a solo show of photographs and video works by the London based artist Melanie Manchot. Through her large-scale installations the conceptual artist initiates a dialogue between Moscow and Berlin, developing a cultural exchange on the basis of storytelling. For the work “Moscow Girls” Manchot asked young women from Moscow to tell a personal story that takes place during the historical changes of the 1990s. The photographs are supplemented by the acoustic narrations to which visitors can listen via headphones.

Oral history plays an equally central role in the seven-channel video installation “Hotel Moscow”. This work reanimates the luxury hotel that was commissioned by Stalin in the mid-1930s. As he mistakenly had signed blueprints by two different architects, the hotel was rigorously constructed in two halves. The old-established hotel has been pulled down in 2004. In Manchot’s work its history is reconstructed through the varying memories of contemporaries.

“Groups and Locations (Moscow)” continues the investigation of individuals and their local contexts. For this series of large-scale colour photographs Manchot has invited random passersby to pose for a spontaneous group portrait at historic sites in and around Moscow. The collected group, staring focused in the camera, is also a statement on the current assembly ban at locations of political importance.

The show “Moscow Girls and other stories” is intended to occupy all of Haus am Waldsee’s 400 square meters of exhibition space. It is complemented by works that have been completed in Berlin not until spring 2006.

Haus am Waldsee is a venue for the international art scene. Since 1946 it is considered to be one of the foremost exhibition spaces for international contemporary art in Germany and has contributed significantly to the rekindling of a cultural life in Westgermany.

A catalogue accompanying the exhibition is available (60 pages, 10 €).

Curator: Dr. Katja Blomberg, art director Haus am Waldsee