Mélissa Marieller

2022-23 | various objects, glass, aluminium, copper and tin | 20.09. – 24.09.2023

On the occasion of CURRENT – Art and Urban Space, Mélissa Mariller adds works from the series Verkehrsstücke to the collection of utilitarian objects from Swabian middle-class households in the WUNDERKAMMER – NATURALIA I ARTIFICIALIA

Mélissa Mariller’s work lies at the intersection of design and contemporary art. The fusion of these two fields creates objects that combine sculptural and functional dimensions. The works reveal the possibilities of everyday use. The artist draws inspiration from the history of art, design and architecture. This is evident, for example, in the objects RETROVI- SEUR, 2022, which are made from old Porsche and Mercedes rear-view mirrors, echoing the colours and shapes of the two brands. The title RETROVISEUR (rear-view mirror) refers, in its double meaning, both to the part of the car taken up here and to the retrospective and the historic forms and colours of the car manufacturer.

During her three-month artist-residence at the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, Mélissa Mariller began to explore the two major car companies. She takes up the car as the main means of transport that essentially shapes, dominates and standardises Stuttgart’s urban space in its individual parts in everyday objects (mirrors and lamps).

The materials she uses to make the parts – glass, copper, aluminium – also come from automobile industry. She thus refers to the omnipresence of the automobile in urban space. Whether the artist is also metaphorically holding up a mirror to the general normativity of the automobile with her works remains open.

The artist uses stained-glass techniques in her work, in particular the Tiffany technique of framing glass in copper. At the same time, the technique of joining the pieces is reminiscent of the welded seams of certain car parts, such as spoilers or fuel filler flaps. Inspired by historic and current Mercedes and Porsche models, the artist creates colours and shapes that are inspired by the history of industrial design and pop culture symbols. She appropriates the aesthetics of tuning, which often has a masculine connotation in society, and reinterprets it with the eye of a contemporary artist. 

The exhibition by Mélissa Marieller takes place in the context of the numerous cooperations of the Institut français Stuttgart. The Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Rhône-Alpes region, art3 Valence and the WUNDERKAMMER – NATURALIA I ARTIFICIALIA in Bad-Cannstatt are involved in the cooperation. The event is part of the festival CURRENT – KUNST UND URBANER RAUM.

The exhibition is part of the project of the Institut français Stuttgart “Parcours – Young Art from France” (11.-20.9.23).

With the kind support of the CURRENT – Art and Urban Space, Institut français Stuttgart, Kulturamt Stuttgart, LBBW Stiftung, Rosspartner Werbetechnik, Ritter Sport, promoted in the impulse program “Culture after Corona” of the Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg.