Nathaniel Mellors

(UK) b.1974

Lives and works in Amsterdam, LA and London

Nathaniel Mellors' output includes installation, sculpture, film and video, music, performance, collage, painting, prints and critical writing. He makes installations “packed with ad hoc sculpture, psychedelic theatre and absurdist, satirical film”. Mellor has developed an art based on filmmaking, writing scripts as well as directing and editing them, and working closely with actors. His works incorporate humor, irreverence, the poetic and the absurd, while addressing themes of ownership, history, power, and morality.

Nathaniel Mellors new video work Neanderthal Container (2014) features the reappearance of the character Mellors created for his film The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview (2012-13) in the form of a Neanderthal stunt-dummy in permanent free-fall. As well as filming the figure falling and bouncing off trees, plants and buildings in and around Los Angeles, Mellors dropped the Neanderthal figure from a plane over the San Joaquin Valley. Mellors conceived the falling figure as depicting an “absolute exterior” and these sequences are punctuated by more psychedelic video fragments depicting the Neanderthal's interior – a film-set populated by four different versions of the Neanderthal character who reflect on their condition and position “inside the Neanderthal stunt-dummy... which is actually a spaceship.” Accompanying the Neanderthal Container video are a set of unique large-scale photographic prints depicting a “Neanderthal Venus” figurine and a two-headed animatronic sculpture which moves and talks. One head is a “naturalistic” version of the Neanderthal character, the other is a kind of prehistoric-futuristic prototype; an anterior hybrid of cave-wall and future-face originally conceived as the Neanderthal's own image of itself – but which turned out to be something else.

Mellors’ solo exhibitions and performances include: Nathaniel Mellors, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Nathaniel Mellors-Ourhouse, Galway Arts Centre, Ireland (2013); Recent Collaborations Before the Saprophage, Monitor Gallery, Rome (2012); The Nest, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, Netherlands (2011); Giantbum, Performa Biennial 2011, Greene Room, New York (2011); Nathaniel Mellors: Ourhouse, ICA, London (2011); Ourhouse, De Hallen, Haarlem (2010); The 7 Ages of Britain Teaser, Kiasma, Helsinki (2010); and Fun Palace (with Junior Aspirin Records), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010). He is also the recipient of the Cobra Art Prize (2011), the Montehermoso Visual Arts Grant (2008), and residencies at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2007-9) and ArtSway, Hampshire (2007). 

participants70 guideline70 information70 press70 essays70