Melanie Manchot’s video piece Liquid Skin, commissioned for Ruhr Ding: Schlaf and on show in the disco room of the sociocultural centre WERK°STADT, is devoted to nocturnal life. The artist and filmmaker (b. 1966 in Witten) collaborated with ten night-time workers from the Ruhr Area. Filmed in infrared, the camera follows each protagonist – amongst them an employee of the Bogestra transport company, a pole dancer, a baker, a bouncer, and a cleaner, all women – as they walk alone at night, guiding us through the rooms of the Tresor.West club, through the basement of Villa Hügel, or behind the scenes of a Dortmund bowling centre. Liquid Skin portrays the characters in dialogue with the spaces, sometimes in an understated suspenseful situation reminiscent of a thriller, at other times as empowered guides of the night.
The works of Melanie Manchot operate at the junction between documentary and staged events, approaching certain sites, public spaces, groups of people and communities with the utmost sensitivity. Working with video, film, and photography, the artist pursues an on-going research-based investigation into the construction of individual and collective identity. In 2023 Manchot is exhibiting her first full-length feature film STEPHEN as an installation at Liverpool Biennial. Her other recent works have been on view at Parafin (London, 2022) and Museum MAC VAL (Paris, 2019), among other venues.
Melanie Manchot lives in London. Complementing the work Liquid Skin the Märkisches Museum Witten is showing the solo exhibition Dancing is the best revenge in collaboration with Urbane Künste Ruhr.