Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Allen, Paris
Born in 1975 in Sydney, Australia, Mel O’Callaghan lives and works in Paris, France. She is represented by Galerie Allen, Paris, and Galeria Belo-Galsterer, Lisbon.
Focusing our attention towards the act of making (doing) itself Mel O’Callaghan’s works are evidence of this act, the result of that act, and a mediation on the will that compels one to make (do). Her video and performance pieces aim at promoting human dignity by focusing on the absurd repetition of life’s endless lack of climax or resolve. Her sculptural and installation works are imbued with the potential for activation and are often incomplete until they are performed. The works are fragments of process, each holding within a call for outright action. Like Sisyphus, man accepts the absurd order of things and re-enacts his struggle, giving precedence to praxis over achievement. The spectator experiments a moment of catharsis. As curator Alexie Glass Kantor wrote, O’Callaghan’s practice mixed “jouissance – converging spectacle, performance and image into a synthesis where process becomes exponential and it is impossible to anticipate anything other than the end, so the players move fatefully and fitfully through endless conundrums of order and chaos.”