The young Swedish artist Melanie Kitti’s writing and visual arts practice stems from a place of disruption, fragmentation, and discontinuity. Her acclaimed literary debut, Halvt urne, halvt gral (Half Urn, Half Grail, Gyldendal, 2022), collects succinct and fleeting notes on a family—and consequently a mental state—about to dissolve. Her painterly practice employs DIY fresco techniques on bulks created from, for instance, plaster. Using materials impossible to preserve, she creates a frailty always at risk of imploding.
For her grand solo show at O—Overgaden, Kitti presents two new work series. One consists of frescoes painted on clunky sculptural surfaces: lumpy plaster molded with hessian cloth, the traditional method for creating portrait busts. The other is a series of wall-hung painted plaster surfaces that zoom in on the upper human torso, throat, and neck, the place from which we try to utter stuff, but also the place where anxiety and depression can form blockages and arrest or (self)censor the intended word flow, as lumps in the throat or bumps on the tongue: Lumps, lumps, lumps become bumps on my tongue.
Melanie Kitti (b. 1986, Sweden) is an artist and author, educated at the Academy of Creative Writing in Copenhagen (2021) and the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen (2017–18) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (2013–19). Her critically acclaimed debut book Halvt urne, halvt gral was published by Gyldendal in 2022. In 2021, she co-founded Abhivyakti, a non-profit magazine with only BIPOC contributors, and previously she co-organized the exhibition space Destiny’s in Oslo (2016–22). Kitti’s works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Rønnebæksholm, Næstved (2022–23), Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2022), and ARIEL, Copenhagen (2022).
The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and Lemvigh-Müller Fonden.