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Nathaniel Mellors

b. 1974, United Kingdom

Nathaniel Mellors (b. 1974, UK) studied at the Ruskin School, Oxford University (1996–99) and the Royal College of Art, London (1999–2001). In 2007–09, Mellors was resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. He lives and works in Amsterdam & Los Angeles.

The complex relationship between language and power is a recurring theme in Mellors’ multi-faceted work, typically manifesting itself in absurdist, humorous narratives that reveal a penchant for satire and the grotesque. Mellors writes his own texts and explores different approaches to the performance of these texts in a variety of media. Parodying the formats and structures through which information is popularly conveyed – such as the television drama, political broadcast, critical analysis or avant-garde plays – Mellors sets up theatrical frameworks to test the line between meaningful content and incomprehensibility. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the relationship between word and effect.

In addition to his absurdist scripts, psychedelic theatre, film, video, performance, collage and sculpture, Mellors plays bass guitar in the group Advanced Sportswear and is a co-founder of Junior Aspirin Records.

Recent solo exhibitions include FRAC Bretagne, Rennes, 2021; Borås Konstmuseum, Sweden, 2019; Kiasma, Helsinki, 2018; New Museum, New York; Cobra Museum, Amsterdam; Finnish Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (with Erkka Nissinen), 2017; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Art Space, Switzerland, 2014; Galway Arts Centre; Baltimore Museum of Art, 2013; Malmö Konsthall; Salle de Bains, Lyon; Matt’s Gallery, London, 2012; SMART Projects, Amsterdam; and ICA, London, 2011.

Recent group exhibitions include Buitenplaats Doornburgh, the Netherlands, 2020; Museo Burel, Belluno, Italy, 2019; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2016; Nam June Paik Art Center, Gyeonggi, 2015; Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo; Taipei Biennial, 2014; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2013; Media City Seoul; Performa 11, New York; La Biennale di Venezia – 54th International Art Exhibition – ILLUMinations curated by Bice Curiger; British Art Show 7 – In The Days of the Comet (UK touring); Un’Expressione Geografica, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; PQ2011 – Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Prague, 2011; Contour 2009, 4th Biennial of Moving Image, Mechelen, Belgium; Altermodern, Tate Triennial 2009, Tate Britain, 2009; Art Now, Tate Britain; and & 00s THE HISTORY OF A DECADE THAT HAS NOT yet BEEN NAMED, Biennale de Lyon, 2007.


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