Michaela Melián

January 17–February 22, 2009

Ludlow 38 is proud to present the first solo show of Munich-based artist Michaela Melián in the United States.

The thematic and formal inspiration for this exhibition is a lost multimedia work on the subject of travel titled VariaVision—Unendliche Fahrt, which was created by Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, and Josef Anton Riedl in 1965. A spatial installation consisting of the simultaneous screening and replaying of films, multi-channel music, and voice recordings, VariaVision offered new ways of perceiving music, film, and text.

Both Reitz and Kluge taught at the School of Design in Ulm, Germany; in its short period of existence (1953-1968), the school exerted a strong influence on German and international design, art, and media history. In 1963, it became home to one of the first electronic studios in West Germany (Siemens Studio for Electronic Music).

In the works presented at Ludlow 38 (video installation, text works and collages), Melián recorded the studio’s sounds, tones, and noises, and then created a new composition in which there is no linear narration. Instead, topics, stories, and time weave in and out of the present in sound loops and spirals. The camera in her work Speicher (2008) moves slowly through a winter night, flying over the front and back of a drawing produced by a sewing machine. The spatial situation realized by Melián in Speicher draws on the conceptual design of VariaVision via projection, mural, voice, and music.

Michaela Melián was born in 1959 in Upper Bavaria, Germany. She is a member of the band F.S.K. (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle). Recent exhibitions include: Speicher, Ulmer Museum and Cubitt Gallery, London (2008); Recollecting, MAK Vienna; Vertrautes Terrain, ZKM Karlsruhe, TALK/SHOW, k.m@tranzit dielne, Bratislava (2007); Föhrenwald, KW Kunstwerke Berlin (2006).

Melián’s new book Speicher, published by Koenig Books, is available at the gallery.