Melanie Kitti

Melanie Kitti - I boiled my roots in an old pot

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I boiled my roots in an old pot Melanie Kitti 26. January – 17 February 2024. Andersen’s is pleased to present Melanie Kitti’s first solo exhibition I boiled my roots in an old pot in the gallery. The exhibition features 25 original works created for this occasion, including new traditional fresco sculptures—uneven plaster molded with hessian cloth—and authentic handwritten poems torn from the artist's diary. At the center of the exhibition, a large podium may remind the spectator of both the artist's worktable with tools and brushes and an archaeologist's examination table displaying recently unearthed artifacts from ancient times. Around this podium, along the outer walls of the space, fresco sculptures are positioned, each mounted on its own traditional pedestal, reminiscent of works from classical antiquity. In Kitti’s working practice, both in painting and writing, painting is seen as a kind of hybrid form between painting and sculpture, navigating the boundary between applied arts and fine arts. The intention is to approach painting and its fundamental building blocks. For several years, Kitti has worked with frescoes and is drawn to the historical connotations they bring. A fresco is a type of pictorial art historically associated with architectural history. This aspect captivates greatly within the genre of painting—the paradoxical role it plays as both an art-historical monument and simultaneously a common possession of a medium used as a tool in, for example: therapy and education. For Kitti, painting is a tool to process her own complex history. Like writing her poems, painting is an introspective space where she can personally draw upon and explore motifs connected to her identity. In working with limestone painting, she sees a parallel in the layered buildup of sediment of pigments and minerals and the gradual excavation of her own memories and dreams as a motif circle, such as close-up body parts and animals. In her artistic practice, Kitti is collecting glimpses of her past and present, painting them out, and writing them down as poems in an attempt to bring together all the pieces of her own personal puzzle game. The pieces might fit as planned or maybe in an unexpected new way. Melanie Kitti (b. 1986, Sweden) is an artist and author, educated at the Academy of Creative Writing in Copenhagen and the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen and the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Her critically acclaimed debut book Halvt urne, halvt gral was published by Gyldendal in 2022. Kitti has co-founded Abhivyakti, a non-profit magazine with only BIPOC contributors, and has coorganized the exhibition space Destiny’s in Oslo (2016–22). Kitti’s works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Overgaden Copenhagen (2023), Rønnebæksholm, Næstved (2022–23), Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2022), and ARIEL, Copenhagen (2022)
Morten Danielsen