In this new body of work, with the deliberation of a wrestler, Manos undertook considered and assertive movements utilizing ladders and chains as both partners and foes in improvisational “bouts” that speak to power dynamics, precarity, and the human-technology interface. The objects and actions of this new work recall an active youth playing smash-swings and other arguably aggressive games that Manos embraced and invented while eschewing the term “tom-boy.”
For Manos, the current sexist rhetoric coming from the highest political offices evokes frightening rape-culture experiences and the reality of demoralizing gender bias in domestic, academic and professional environments. Her work continues to forefront these issues through recorded physical acts, fabricated data-driven objects and live performance.
Melanie Manos was born in Detroit, MI. She attended UCLA (BA) and University of Michigan (MFA). In 2018 she exhibited at multiple venues in the U.K. including FiLia: A Feminist Conference, London, England; Small World, P.S. Mirabel, Manchester, and a solo exhibition at Fish Factory, Penryn, England. Other exhibitions include Museum London, Ontario, the Zuckerman Museum, Atlanta, Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City and Shigaraki Ceramic Center Museum, Shiga, Japan. She’s the recipient of a MacCarthur Travel grant in support of her MacDowell Art Colony Fellowship, and was Artist-in-Residence at the Frank Lloyd School of Architecture, Banff Centre for the Arts, Elsewhere, and Ucross, among others.
Manos collaborates with Sarah Buckius as The ManosBuckius Cooperative. The MBC has exhibited in video and electronic art festivals globally in over twenty cities and fifteen countries, with solo exhibitions at Kendall College of Art and Design and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids.
She is a Lecturer at the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and Curator of the Art Collections of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospitals. She sits on the advisory board for Brooklyn-based Holes in the Wall Collective and served on the Steering and Programming Committees for MOCAD, and the 2016 National Endowment for the Arts, U.S./Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship Selection Committee.