Līga Spunde

Melos

Mixed media installation, wood, polyester resin, air fresheners

2019, Group exhibition Melos at Arsenals, Latvian National Museum Of Art, Riga, Latvia, Curated by Līna Birzaka-Priekule

The exhibition “Melos” was made in close collaboration with the artists Vika Eksta and Anna Ceipe. 

The origin of the Greek word “melos” is to be found in the word “mel” from the family of Indo-European languages, which points to a part of the whole. Later it began to refer to a melody or a lyrical poem meant for singing. It is this word‘s musical meaning that is related to the notion of melodrama, which, in turn, is known as a specific genre saturated with emotions and feelings. Melodrama is characterised by often absurdly reductive schemes of the relationships between the characters – either in love or not, or, if one is in love, the other is not. In many cases the word „melodrama“ is used as pejorative in connection with exaggerations, banalities and clichés in relationships, yet the depiction of these appeals to a surprisingly broad public.. Melodrama in film is a hybrid genre form, which may even simultaneously include romantic drama, historical costume drama, psychological thriller, crime thriller and others. Film scholars of dierent generations have recognised a powerful socio-critical instrument in the genre that at first glance might appear conservative, highlighting questions related to gender studies, feminism and psychoanalysis.
The exhibition is based on an academic desire to deconstruct the main elements of a melodrama film and through bringing them together in a spatial composition enable the visitors to enter the world of melodrama and grasp the essence of their attraction. Less than two years ago four knowers and makers of the fine arts, worn out by life‘s raging storms,
found themselves on a late evening asking each other: „When was the last time you experienced a love scene worthy of a film? Have you ever seen yourself in one on screen?“ Together they have studied virtually the entire range of melodrama film and now They are giving You the opportunity to put on the shoes of a leading melodrama character, with the hope that afterwards love in life will captivate more than love in cinema, or, singing along the 1956 film Written on the Wind by the melodrama classic
Douglas Sirk:

“A faithless lover‘s kiss is written on the wind,
A night of stolen bliss, is written on the wind,
Just like the dying leaves, our dreams we‘ve calmly thrown away
Now they‘ve blown away, softly flown away
The promises we made, our whispers in the breeze
They echo and they fade, just like our memories
Though you are gone from me, we never can really be apart
What‘s written on the wind is written on my heart.”

Text by Līna Birzaka-Priekule

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