The exhibition Melantropics features work by German and Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe that explores the amalgamation of the female body and landscape through the use of photography, video, and drawing. Created in public and private gardens, the work in the exhibition presents a curious botanical milieu embodied with notions of solitude and references to mythology and folklore. Melantropics is a concept invented by Tschäpe that combines the words melancholy and tropics and refers to the epidemic of melancholy that occurred in Brazil at the end of the 19th century. Hybridity is a thread throughout Tschäpe’s work and titles; she combines elements found in nature with fabricated costumes and props and blends words and languages to form new ones which results in her own fictitious botanical nomenclature. In these photographs and videos, Tschäpe constructs imaginary environments that exist between the natural and the artificial.
Sep 15 – Dec 31, 2006
Funding for the exhibition has been generously provided by the Arts & Education Council, Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, Regional Arts Commission, William E. Weiss Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, and Friends and Members of the Contemporary, with in-kind support from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and Pace Framing, St. Louis.