Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Melancholia, Pristine Galerie, Monterrey, Mexico, 12/21/12-1/1/13
Melancholia is an international exhibition consisting of artworks that are diverse in narrative and span a broad range of subject matter, yet they coalesce around the concept of melancholy in its myriad historical and contemporary guises. Albrecht Dürer’s print by the same name created in 1514 exemplifies the first allusion: works in the exhibition teeter between body/mind, life/death, and self/other; these dichotomies are analogous to Dürer’s angel that is brooding and earth bound and surrounded by symbols of Renaissance humanism that represent the displacement of medieval superstition that preceded it. This irrational cosmology fostered the concept of the four humors thought to constitute the body consequently influencing a person’s temperament of which the melancholic disposition manifested as unbearable and perpetual sadness. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is also the name of a CD by the rock group Smashing Pumpkins. More recently, the rubric has been used as foil in a film by Lars von Trier. Titled Melancholia, the film concerns a wedding party and ensuing family troubles that surface all the while a planet called Melancholia is on direct and inevitable crash course towards Earth that will obliterate all life on it. This may not be ostensibly fictional; for the exhibition’s opening is on December 21, which is the day of the purported Maya apocalypse of 12/21/12. Melancholia is either Pristine Galerie's last exhibition of the year, or the last exhibition on Earth.