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Melissa Gordon (Berlin)
Genealogies / Dutchess of Malfi

In her paintings Melissa Gordon deals with the question of power and representation. Within "Lost & Found" she shows her work "Genealogies" and "Dutchess of Malfi ".

"All of the subject matter that I work with revolves around specific histories, and I look at ways in which these have been represented or used. I then use these indicators to align what source material I can find with genres or historical styles in painting, sometimes fitting or sometimes deliberately not, so returning to the original source material, but creating a shift in what has been dealt with. My work is very much about content decisions and about the interaction between the real references, acted upon in the process of painting. I take the effect of these images and events, how they function culturally, and somehow determine what new critiques, or angles can be created." (M.G., 2006)

Her work "Genealogies" is a genealogy of female pop culture idols. Gordon asked befriended artists to write letters to her, describing a female character that has had an impact on their working practice. Each artist invited was also asked to get in touch witch someone else who would write a letter. Gordon made illustrative paintings for each letter, based on what the letter was perhaps trying to get across.

The paintings are presented in a grouping, together with the letters and a picture of a work of the artist who wrote the letter.

"I imagine the Genealogies project as a platform for "consciousness-raising", because it encourages a self-reflection. The project came from a basic question; what would female artists define as their art history? I wanted to first of all open up that discussion. The letters have not been about artists, but about characters of desire, fame, tragedy... The letters themselves bring the project out of a mining of history, and complicate the idea of a "character". The works also point to the power of what is represented, and what is lost or forgotten. There is a huge cultural consensus of images, which is tied intrinsically to power structures." (M.G. 2006)

Melissa Gordon: "Dear Donna"
painting, 180x160 cm
From the Series "Genealogies Part I+II", 2006

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