Deutsche Version unten

2–10 May 2024

Frances Melhop – tender material

@ DIENSTGEBÄUDE, Töpferstrasse 26, 8045 Zürich
Opening: 2 May 2024, 6–9pm

Solo Exhibition with Frances Melhop
Curated by Maria Sorensen

Artist Talk: 2 May 2024, 6.30 pm
Guided Tour with Aperitivo: 4 May 2024, 6.00 pm
Closing Reception: 10 May 2024, 6-9pm

Visit by appointment: maria.sorensen@zhdk.ch

In her landmark 1990 book Sexual Personae, feminist researcher and writer Camille Paglia used intellect to analyse art, history, and literature from classical times to the 19th century and argue that it is men who are the weaker sex because they have remained eternally powerless over their desire for the female body. It is female sexuality, she argued, that is humanity’s greatest force. Her tome helped catapult feminism beyond ideology of victimhood.

Tender Material reflects on impermanence, memory, fragility, being human and acknowledging our material physicality versus our lives through the screen. Treading a tightrope between women’s work, craft, and art Frances Melhop’s human-size hand stitched series, Common Threads is a tribute to feminist artists who used their bodies as material creatively and artistically to break down barriers, taboos, restrictions, oppressive systems, and ideologies. Simple pressure prints of dresses are overlaid with embroidered contour drawings of female bodies. Each dress has stories and memories attached to it, held within it. Melhop’s delicate and tender textile and paper works highlight the interplay between fragility and toughness, exterior and interior, using nakedness and vulnerability as powerful tools of resistance.

Frances Melhop is a multidisciplinary visual artist born in Christchurch, New Zealand, living and working at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She works in tactile mediums such as photography, printmaking, hand embroidery, sculpture and oil paint questioning and framing her perceptions of the world. Frances is an award-winning photographer with a decades long career in fashion photography conceptualizing, and directing shoots for Vogue Pelle Italy, Vogue Gioelli, Italy, Vogue Australia and Elle Portugal. She holds MFA degree from University of Nevada, Reno, and has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide.

Maria Sorensen is an independent art curator, writer and researcher. Combining her experience of growing up in an authoritarian country with her background in Film and Visual Arts , her curatorial practice focuses on highlighting important societal issues using strong and powerful artistic language. She writes for Index on Censorship covering cultural and political issues and has previously worked for various film channels curating a World Cinema program. Having lived and worked in London, Copenhagen and Tokyo she is currently based in Switzerland and is a graduate of CAS in Curating from Zurich University of Arts.

EXHIBITION PAGE: https://www.frances-melhop.art/blog/2024/3/16/tender-material-exhibition
ARTIST WEBSITE: www.frances-melhop.art
INSTAGRAM: @frances_melhop

Maria Sorensen maria.sorensen@zhdk.ch
Frances Melhop studio@frances-melhop.art