Melle Nieling

Melle Nieling


mixed media including wood, cardboard + carpet.

approx. 2 meters tall + a single meter deep / wide, 2018

I'm dealing with problems I personally experience in the art world. The way individuals are treated and how that has evolved over the years is my central point at this moment. This work is from a series that focuses on assumptive science. It's a celebration of institutionalized art. 

'MoMA at the Bank Presents' is set in a time of worldwide overproduction of art. An esoteric wasteland where emotion, devotion and awe are subordinate to undead -isms of the past. Where art is made to be exhibited, as cog in a machine that spits out the perfect resume. This wasteland is ruled by powerful necromancers. Some see them as valuable guardians of a history, while others live in fear of their dark wizardry. They are known to use artworks for unholy altars, and as ingredients to raise the dead. These artworks are soulless corpses, empty hulls, traded from one necromancer to the next. Each of them wants to decorate their altar with the most shiny, sought-after artifacts. Artifacts that don't embody a gesture to the public eye, emotion or mind, but an exchange in prestige.


To elaborate on the assumptive science part, I would want to refer to a publication, titled ‘Layers in Visibility’. Sadly I don’t have a digital copy at hand. One chapter describes a conversation I overheard between two art handlers. One of them noted how some collectors/museums/galleries move art around, just to get a foreign label on the crate. I assume art that travels a lot is just better art." 


Currently working from the east of the Netherlands, close to the German border.

It is quite rural out here, but very densely populated.

​+  What have you been reading lately?  

A Belgian book titled Baudelaire in Cyberspace. It's a transcription of a conversation between an artist and an art philosopher from 2008, but it's still extremely relevant. Their opinions on what's wrong with 'big art' are dead on. I actually read the first 30 pages of the book four years ago and recently met one of the authors. So that's why I'm reading it again!

​+  Dogs or Cats?  

Hedgehogs, definitely.

​+  If you won the lottery today, what would you do with the $$?  

Fund the production of an alternative art history book. One that discusses great artists that have been pushed into the shadows of others.

​+  Do you believe white chocolate is really chocolate? 

Is butter milk?