“I use emotional structures more than formal structures, emotions generated by listening to music, the awkwardness caused by seeing an erotic scene in a public space without expecting it... I take very convoluted routes like these structures to express something without ever truly being able to.” Mélanie Matranga

Palais de Tokyo presents the first significant solo show of French artist Mélanie Matranga (born in 1985, lives in Paris). Her exhibition will articulate several environments, several moments, through an ambitious set of images, sculptures and architectural elements.

“By working on clichés on youth, their representation and their supposedly passive narcissism, Mélanie Matranga plays with the visitor’s attention and humour; this way she creates holes in the systems of representations we take for granted.” (Benjamin Thorel and Thomas Boutoux, curators)

Mélanie Matranga’s drawings, sculptures and videos combine signs that reflect upon interiority with elements linked to social attitudes and habits. Together, they create environments where the singular seems to dilute into the common, and where intimateness is uncovered, exposed. Thus her silicone sculptures – literally – borrow their shapes from indoors spaces: made by casting furniture, walls, floors, and other volume surfaces present in domestic spaces, they appear like their ghosts inside of the exhibition. The works metaphorically embody subjective moments; and trigger a state of relaxation, flotation and suspense.

Presented in a variety of fashions, the exhibition’s Mandarin title does not have a hidden meaning –反复 pronounced “fanfù”, means “more and more” – and contributes to a particular atmosphere, an indecisive situation for those who cannot read these characters.

Visitors progress through the exhibition moving from one environment and state to another. The twists and turns shape a unique ambiance, through generic forms and codes, where self-expression is paradoxically only possible if you lose yourself. A (functional) smoking room, two mezzanines, sofas and beds for sitting on while watching TV, and a new short film by the artist are on show, as well as lamps made of Japanese paper inspired by Isamu Noguchi’s work. Some of them are hand-made and disproportioned; others mass-produced and cheap. These commonplace elements from contemporary homes are powered by a network of long electric cables that crisscross through the exhibition, from the ground to the ceiling.

Born in Marseille in 1985, Mélanie Matranga lives in Paris, where she graduated from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA). She participated in the following group exhibitions: Mobile Device (Bodega, Philadelphia, 2011), The Issues of Our Time (castillo/ corrales, Paris, 2013),The Issues of Our Time (3): Less Time, More Issues (Artists Space, New York, 2014), Europe, Europe (Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, 2014), Theater Objects. A Stage for Architecture and Art (gta Exhibitions / LUMA Foundation, Zurich, 2014).

She was amongst the artists selected for the Prix de la Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard in 2014, and was the inaugural winner of the Frieze Artist Award. Within this scope, she produced a 3-episode mini-series broadcast online, From A to Be through E, which was selected at the Kino der Kunst festival in Munich in 2015. She is represented by the Karma International gallery in Zurich, where she presented the exhibition titled A perspective, somehow, in early 2015.

Curators: Benjamin Thorel and Thomas Boutoux