Twelve, Melanie Manchot’s major new multi-channel video installation exploring the intimate stories, rituals, repetitions and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery, will launch at Peckham Platform this May before touring nationally throughout 2015 and 2016.
Over the last two years Manchot has worked in dialogue with twelve people in recent recovery from substance misuse, in rehabilitation communities in Liverpool, Oxford and London. Twelve is directly informed by the subjects’ personal written and oral testimonies; their performances and creative conceptions form part of the final works.
The work connects and collapses individual recollections in which everyday situations, events and activities are rendered dramatic or abstract and infused with tragedy, pathos and humour. Single sequences are shot as continuous takes, referencing iconic scenes from the films of renowned contemporary filmmakers Michael Haneke, Gus van Sant, Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman – a ferry journey across the Mersey, a darkened room looking out on to an early morning street, a car wash, the cutting of daisies with small scissors, the obsessive cleaning of a floor – providing the framework for reflections on remembered incidents and states of mind.
Twelve will be Peckham Platform’s first exhibition to be shown over two spaces – the main gallery on Peckham Square and the vacant high-street shop adjoining the gallery.
Ahead of the exhibition, Manchot held several workshops with local people from Southwark and Lambeth dealing with addiction. Together, and with the support of the Maudsley Charity (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) they explored their experiences in the cycle of addiction and recovery and their reactions to Manchot’s video work.
Emily Druiff, executive director of Peckham Platform said:
“Twelve is a hugely important exhibition for Peckham Platform. It’s a project that perfectly encapsulates what our gallery exists to do; to give a platform to art that can offer us new ways to examine society and our community, and to bring profile to social issues that affect us all.”
“It has been a delight to work with Melanie and her collaborators and be part of this powerful, empowering and moving artwork being realised. I’m very proud that Twelve will launch nationally with us in Peckham this May.”
A vibrant series of events for the public will accompany the exhibition including artist talks, ‘Last Friday’ openings in May and June (when other local galleries are also open late), an ‘art invasion’ from students at Central Saint Martins, and a debate on the value of the arts within the mental health sector. Taking place at Ortus Learning and Events Centre, speakers will include project commissioner Mark Prest (Portrait of Recovery) the local projects evaluator Dr Alison Rooke (senior lecturer at Goldsmiths) and Dr Luke Mitcheson (consultant clinical psychologist for the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).
Melanie Manchot is a London based visual artist who works with photography, ﬁlm, video and installation as part of a performative and participatory practice.
Twelve was commissioned by Mark Prest of Portraits of Recovery and developed by Melanie Manchot working with Action on Addiction, the Ley Community and Psychosocial Research Unit and the University of Central Lancashire. Twelve is supported by Small Arts Awards from the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England through the National Lottery. Peckham Platform commissioned the local element of Twelve with the support of the Maudsley Charity, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Special thanks are given to the recovery communities from the Trust who worked on this project and staff at the Harbour Recovery Centre.
Peckham Platform, London, 22 May – 26 Jul 2015
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 18 Sep – 1 Nov 2015
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, 23 Jan – 20 Mar 2016
Towner, Eastbourne, 16 Apr – 26 Jun 2016