(*1988, Bachelor of cultural science at the University of Hildesheim and diploma of Fine Arts at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden, student of Prof. Grossarth)
Irène Mélix describes her approach as ‘acting politically and artistically’. With her conceptual approach, she works at the points where social and aesthetic issues overlap. The variety of artistic media in her work (drawing, screenprinting, linol cut, video) results from the variety of questions that are brought up: historical, socio-political, gender-specific and literary researches are starting points for her artistic practice.
In January 2014, she presented together with Theresa Schnell (as team2) the exhibition “Smoke through walls”. This curatorial and artistic project dealt with the topic of milieus as subversive spaces that would break the social norms and pierce the wall of the inside and outside of society. The project focussed on the subversive potential of lesbian-queer subculture and questions turning around gender performance and staging.
The works of Irène Mélix are rarely found only inside exhibition spaces. Events, panel discussions and screenings bring political questions to exhibition rooms – artists’ books, newspapers and publications bring artistic approaches to a wider public. In autumn 2016, the newspaper “Die Grenzgängerin” (the border crosser) travelled in the art train between Dresden and Wroclaw examining the German/Polish border issue, the nature and purpose of borders and the border-crosser as an anti-national figure. A radio item about the situation of cultural workers in the Hungarian opposition is dealing with the question of Europe’s future (“Meeting Miss Europe”, 2017). A research project on the topic of lesbian novels from the 20s deals with questions of the construction of lesbian, collective identity and its political context. Lectures and exhibitions as well as her work on an audio piece make lesbian love, life and suffering visible. In the context of the “STRIKE/WORK” conference in January 2015, she designed as team2 an exhibition that included -besides artistic works- a cooperation with a small union that would raise the question of labour conditions of all artists, scientists and curators present at the conference.
Another topic of Irène Mélix’ work is the activity of things in the sense of a sudden independence of objects. Houses and pots grow hair, letters start to riot. Rebellious curls and last but not least the tools for deep-level clearing develop their potency beyond their existence as objects. The deep-level clearing (Die Tiefenenttrümmerung) as a process of recycling and radical renewal, borrowed from the building industry, is a basic motif of the cultural work of Irène Mélix. The tools for deep-level clearing (hydraulic hammer, demolition grab, screening bucket, backhoe bucket, sorting grab) are strategies of her flying range.
Moreover, Irène Mélix is part of the patterned collective, a group of young artists that deal with pattern from the perspective of collective organising.