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Shaped | A live presentation by Melanie Gilligan
19:30 on 13 June 2015
The University of Edinburgh’s Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, EH8 9YL
Known for her futuristic experimental dramas and scripted performances, Melanie Gilligan’s work offers chillingly incisive – and often humorous – narratives centred on the power of economic relations to shape lives. Working in collaboration with Talbot Rice Gallery, the School of History of Art have invited Gilligan to create a new live presentation for the University of Edinburgh’s striking Playfair Library.
Shaped responds to the themes of a larger ECA research project focusing on care work and other forms of ‘social reproduction’ – in other words, everything that relates to how we live, survive and thrive, from childrearing and cleaning to housing and healthcare. Addressing our current predicament, Gilligan’s presentation considers the impact on the social fabric as the costs associated with reproducing workers and societies are increasingly shifted from the public to private sphere. The event acts as a precursor to Gilligan’s inclusion in British Art Show 8, a major exhibition touring to Edinburgh in February 2016
Melanie Gilligan lives and works in London and New York. Her films include Crisis in the Credit System (2008), a four-part fictional mini-drama about the recent financial crisis, made specifically for internet viewing and distribution, commissioned and produced by Artangel Interaction; Self-capital (2009), commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts London as part of the group exhibition Talk Show; and Popular Unrest (2010). Critical writing is central to Gilligan’s practice, and she has contributed to art magazines and journals such as Texte zur Kunst and Artforum. In 2009 she was the recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists and, in 2010, of the Present-Future Prize at Torino Artissima International Art Fair.
Generously supported by Edinburgh College of Art’s Devolved Researcher Fund and the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities.