Michele Di Menna
In the Land of Skeletons | Special Guests: Marie Angeletti, Nicola Brunnhuber, Lucie Stahl, FASTWÜRMS, Tiziana La Melia, Beatrice Marchi, Marlie Mul, Julian Hou, Stephan Dillemuth und Q*innenØruppe
Michele Di Menna’s (*1980) artistic approach developed in the environment of the Canadian club culture and alternative scene, where she appeared as a DJ in the early 2000s. She developed performative interventions involving costume and dance elements that she presented in nightclubs.
To this day, Di Menna avoids classical stage and exhibition situations, she prefers to interact in close proximity to the audience as well as in unusual locations, for example in a grotto or a boat.
Using simple creative elements, she develops unconventional atmospheric settings in which she often performs with artist friends. Michele Di Menna’s exhibitions only take their final shape along with the performances that are conceptualised for them. As a result, the individual pieces become props as well as sculptures, in the end a constellation remains in the exhibition. With her approach, she links materials and sounds, creating complex spatial installations.
For some time, Michele Di Menna has been looking into repressed memories as one aspect of ghosts and the projections that are linked to them.
Ghosts and demons as a trademark of our century also attracted French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s attention when he coined the concept of “Hauntology” (the Study of the Bewitched) in the 1990s. Derrida linked the motive of the spectre to the suppressed Communism, which keeps on dwelling in the globalized and digital world as an emancipatory alternative concept beyond the capitalistic logic of exploitation.
Michele Di Menna turns the plain rooms of the gallery in Schwaz into warm spaces by using long burgundy curtains. Besides, she exhibits a series of etchings that are based on illustrations found alongside daily horoscopes. These illustrations interweave various source images forming new images that are open to all projections.
As „special guests“ for her exhibition, Di Menna has borrowed pieces from her international artist colleagues (Marie Angeletti, Nicola Brunnhuber, Stephan Dillemuth, FASTWÜRMS, Tiziana La Melia, Beatrice Marchi, Marlie Mul, Lucie Stahl). For the artist, their contributions form a kind of curated sub-exhibition, which corresponds to her own artistic approach.
Michele Di Menna
born in 1980 in Vancouver (CA), lives and works in Berlin. Numerous exhibitions and performances, among others at Galerie Kamm Berlin; Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö; Museo Apparente Naples; Cattedrale | Instituto Svizzero, Rome; Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht; Pro Choice, Vienna; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; Kunsthalle Vienna; etc.
Text: Cosima Rainer
Translation: Christina Muigg
Photos © Verena Nagl