Outsight – Insight
Following her first solo exhibition METAMORPHOSIS, MEL CHO is now
exploring the impressions and experiences she has gathered, mostly during her
stay in India. Due to the topics she explores as well as the enhanced variation
in her means of expression, OUTSIGHT – INSIGHT can be seen to signify
a significant artistic and personal development.
While METAMORPHOSIS was based on an exploration of influences
and structures that are altogether her own as well as on the constant transformation
or emancipation in the social and societal context, OUTSIGHT - INSIGHT
(Am I An Octopus?) now puts the focus on the perception of the “perceptible”,
of the invisible and of the unconscious. And with this comes the question:
In which way can this phenomenon be made accessible? How may the gate to it be opened up? The exploration of these subjects and the processes that go along
with them necessarily leads to a place where consciousness is pushed to its limits. Here, MEL CHO often encounters boundaries. But through intuition the
unconscious ultimately finds – in the context of perceiving subtle matters –
a fundamental place in daily life. And in her art.
We are not talking about fiction here: What was experienced is true and real;
it took place. Impressions, insights and relevant moments in India were not
planned but always emerged from an intuition, as photographs or video works.
The twenty snapshots are complemented in the works on show by essential perceptions that MEL CHO expresses in painting and graphic art. Here, it indeed seems important that the picture frame, expressing a movement back to the
outside world, forms a part of the work: in the sense of an already existing or now
just beginning transformation and application of the experienced in the
“power of now”. In several instances, this creates the impression that reality
and dream coalesce, that perception seems “irrational”. This is evident in the
video sequences, whose blending of dream and reality is deliberate.
A stylistic high point of the work is a larger-than-life sculpture of an octopus
which bears a human-like head. This head, in the middle of the animal,
represents on the one hand the (achievable) human goal of finding the existentially important “centre in life”. This state, according to MEL CHO, is characterized
by the fact that a person is so bound to his or her body, so anchored in it,
that from this state something magnificent, something new can emerge.
On the other hand, the octopus in its created form represents the process
of becoming conscious, of intuitively feeling one’s own origins and the
environment, to the point of using these “roots” in real life. The identification
with such a mystical being takes place because MEL CHO’s experience has
convinced her that so much remains hidden in human existence and so little has
been discovered that there certainly are parallels to the life of octopods,
which has only been partially researched. The video sequence that was produced
following these perceptions impressively takes up the subject. The immersion in this
completely different, mystical world is additionally shown in photographs.
Here, MEL CHO appears to give herself over entirely to the octopus. In their depth
and manner of depiction, the photographs bespeak a different approach and
strongly attest to the artist’s ability to convey her message in the most diverse ways.