Melanie Jame Wolf

The Creep

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'Oh! Get away with it for long enough, and it'll start to look like fate.' To creep is to move quietly, with stealth, to avoid detection. A creep is a person who produces feelings of discomfort and fear in others. Creeps creep; their violence is experienced as affect, felt rather than seen. It is hard to quantify and therefore hard to prove, sometimes even hard to believe. People creep, so can structures, so can ideologies. Time creeps, so can pleasure, so can death. Melanie Jame Wolf’s exhibition The Creep at E-WERK Luckenwalde includes a new film installation, ceramic works, textile sculptures, and performance. It is a continuation of the visual artist and choreographer’s ongoing 'creep studies'. In Walter Benjamin's concept of 'mythic violence,' oppressive power is understood as being accumulated and maintained by disingenuously performing itself as natural law. As an exhibition, The Creep enacts a poetic meditation on the dynamic between violence, desire, and performativity – ostensibly in the form of a duet between an outlaw figure and a mountain. Wolf plays these tensions by orchestrating a conversation between the moving image and the sculptural textures. Mountains creep at glacial speed, as The Outlaw creeps through the complicated fantasies he symbolises and subverts. What is explored are the covert choreographies of how power moves. Forced silences, double meanings & omissions, invisible actions, performances of reputation, and what Alison M. Jaggar terms ‘Outlaw Emotions’ wind through a mythic landscape. The exhibition is the artist's largest scale solo presentation of her work to date. Melanie Jame Wolf is a visual artist and choreographer who lives in Berlin. She works solo and with friends, making interdisciplinary pieces about power, flows of capital, and the pervasive phenomenon of 'show business' in theatrical, political and everyday contexts. Coming from a background in contemporary performance, Melanie Jame works with text, sound, moving image, choreography, and sculpture. Her work often focuses on specific performance techniques, like impersonation, rehearsal, or stand up, understanding the body as an unruly political riddle. Leaning into a hyper-stylised pop aesthetic, she is invested in humour as a strategy for critical possibility, and in working with language in subliminal and surprising ways. Spaces that have presented her work include Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Kunstmuseum Basel – Gegenwart, KW – Institute of Contemporary Art, HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, nGbK, The National 2019: New Australian Art biennial, VAEFF - Film Festival NYC, Arts Santa Monica, Schwules Museum, Sophiensaele, Münchner Kammerspiele, Arts House Melbourne, Kasseler Dokfest, Bärenwzinger Berlin, SOPHIE TAPPEINER, and Institute of Modern Art Brisbane. Melanie Jame was one of 8 nominees for the 2022 Berlin Art Prize. Originally developed in co-production with Sophiensaele with co-financing by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK - STEPPING OUT, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR Hilfsprogramm Tanz. With further support from Performance Space (AU) and Bildungs-, Jugend-, Kultur- und Sportstiftung Teltow-Fläming der Mittelbranderburgischen Sparkasse in Potsdam.

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