Nathaniel Mellors

Portrait Nathaniel Mellors. Photo: Ricky Adam (cropped) Portrait Nathaniel Mellors. Photo: Ricky Adam (cropped)

“Personally I always I want to learn, I can’t go back into education… I am cursed by the perennial need for intellectual refreshment, stimulation, humour. An excess of consciousness.”

Born: 1974, Doncaster, England
Practice: visual artist

About Nathaniel Mellors
Nathaniel Mellors was born in Doncaster, England in 1974. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the Ruskin School, Oxford University. In 2007-09 he was a resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. The complex relationship between language and power is a recurring theme in Mellors’ multi-faceted work, typically manifesting itself in absurdist, humorous narratives that reveal a penchant for satire and the grotesque.

Mellors writes his own texts and explores different approaches to the performance of these texts in a variety of media. Parodying the formats and structures through which information is popularly conveyed – such as the television drama, political broadcast, critical analysis or avant-garde plays – Mellors sets up theatrical frameworks to test the line between meaningful content and incomprehensibility. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the relationship between word and effect.

Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: The Aalto Natives (with Erkka Nissinen) at the Finnish Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennial; Prequel Dump, The Box, Los Angeles; Nathaniel Mellors: Hammer Projects, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Nathaniel Mellors: The Nest, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, Netherlands; Performa 2011, New York; Nathaniel Mellors: Ourhouse, ICA, London; and Ourhouse, De Hallen, Haarlem. He has been awarded the 2014 Contemporary Art Society Prize, and the 2011 Cobra Art Prize.

Nathaniel Mellors on mentoring
“I’ve had creative mentors throughout my life, from early parenting to finding the locally creative people I could as teenager growing up – mostly musician-artists – even now I have older friends who teach me all the time in different ways. I am not always aware it’s happening, but it’s something I am drawn to all the time. I guess it’s a very subjective process and it depends what you are looking for and how we can look to you can establish points of synchronisation and empathy and mutual interest to move forward through conversation!

Personally I always I want to learn, I can’t go back into education… I am cursed by the perennial need for intellectual refreshment, stimulation, humour. An excess of consciousness.

I am working outside of the Netherlands a lot, so the majority – but not necessarily all – of our exchange would be online.”