Mel Brimfield: This is Performance Art, Mead Gallery


Mel Brimfield: On Board

One of my favourite exhibitions to curate, and artists to work with:

This is Performance Art sees Mel Brimfield’s complex practice take a shrewd and tangled romp through the development of performance art, simultaneously revealing and inventing a rich history of collaboration between artists, dancers, theatre makers, political activists and comedians.

Mel Brimfield’s meticulously drawn and painted posters and programmes for fictional interdisciplinary cabarets, together with costumes and props, are produced alongside documentary-style films and live works that playfully associate performance art with most significant cultural developments of the last 100 years, from Gilbert and George to Morecambe and Wise. The second hand anecdotes and mythologies surrounding performers and their performances are expanded, distorted and completely supplanted by new fictions, with archival photographs and footage, and authentic ephemera being appropriated and re-contextualised, or entirely invented at will.


This exhibition ran at the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick from 1 October – 10 December 2011. This project was a result of Brimfield’s residency at Camden Arts Centre and is toured by Yorkshire Sculpture Park in association with Ceri Hand Gallery.

I’ve recently bought one of Mel’s editions. I’ll update this when it’s framed!