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Philosophy of M.E.L. art

M.E.L. art understands the art market as a temporal achievement of the multilevel social evaluation of art, the art process, the art related contexts, the individual opinion, the personal and collective delights and frustrations, the (un-) fulfilling hopes and suggestive temptations.
The art market, as a scorned as well as a desirable part of the world of art, as an imaginative aspect of the economical assessment, and with it the social objectification and alienation, is the impure part of the impure world for the ‘pure’ art. Here the artists’ fate of the market anarchy or the personal collectors’ passion
– thus the bogeyman of money – is offered. This lust fuel ‘money’ drives the craver and the enthusiastic, the lustful and the suffering, to pursue the value and demerits of art in the art sensitive personalities.

Caught in these reflexions, M.E.L. art surrenders itself to the theories, the art and the art market, in which we try to establish and deconstruct the economical aspects of art for all involved reasonably, and as a motor of social-individual differentiation and development of art – fashion will also be reflected.

Reinhold Sturm, former gallery owner/holder

Real Things

In April 2006 mel contemporary opened its brand new gallery close to the famous Concert Hall and the monument of the liberation from the fascist regime in the Vienna city centre. Realities – the title of the opening exhibition can be taken as uncompromising programme. Instead of pleasing the audience with retina painting (Duchamp), mel contemporary rather tends to carry chaos into the order (Adorno). It is the huge rather than the subtle, the obscene, the bare thing that visitors will find here, dazzling art, originating from passion, from elementary fears and desires of human beings that creates puzzlement and sometimes (why not?) amused laughter. Among many other art objects, the almost 6 m high gallery rooms have so far hosted giant nude figures by Moldovan, a 7m long paper-made cargo-ship (Mühlbacher/Stalzer) or photos of physically handicapped women staged in erotic pose (Aba).
mel contemporary – one of the most unconventional art venues in town – was founded in spring 2000 in the remaining rooms of a split up flat in the outskirts of Vienna, objects being exhibited not only in a former bedroom, but also in the unaltered kitchen and around the bath-tub. In 2001, the first exhibition of Chinese paintings (Chinese Painting examined through Duchamp’s Big Glass) was shown here. Two years later performances (2003) and art exhibitions started in the nearby premises of a carpet factory. This 200 m²-location (mel factory) is still in use for experimental art performances, lectures and concerts.
mel contemporary’s program focuses on contemporary painting (Zens, Reinhart, Pongratz, Dalpra et al.) and sculpture (Fassl, Moldovan, Verhoeven et al.), at times photography and film (Dimanche, Aba, Wallner et al.). Renowned practitioners mingle with young artists of Austrian and non-European origin (China – Zhang, Feng, Wei Jun, Japan – Yasaki, Komyija, Mexico – Santíz Gómez, Araujo, India – Luis, USA – Pfaffenbichler and Cuba – Diaz Garcia). Artists represent Art Brut (Brunner, Hofstätter, Holub, Pongratz et al.) or Virtual Realism (Kühn, Messensee, Waber, et al.). Reinhold Sturm, owner of mel contemporary defines Virtual Realism as basically representational art, which has the potential to change and develop our minds through its contents and form (like the virtual in quantum physics it is abstract as concept and real as part of our reality – but neither transcentendal nor esoteric). His articles on art theory can be found on the german homepage of mel-art.
Activities are not limited to mel contemporary and mel factory. There is also mel edition: production of books (art catalogues, DVDs or CDs with artistic content) and bookstore right on the Vienna Ringstrasse. Occasionally mel contemporary acts in public spaces. 2006 passers-by could take along one of 8000 street signs in German and Slovenian language (symbolizing a persistent Austrian political conflict) during a performance or they could even strip to the skin for a life-drawing by Martina Reinhart on the main shopping road of the City.
If you became curious - come and see, but be aware – it is going to be crowded …

Dr. Gabriele Stöger, July 2007

some texts abot artists and art-theorie (german)

Ekphrasis Jürgen MESSENSEE

Ekphrasis Gerhard ABA

Der Virtuelle Realismus, neuere Bemerkungen zur Chaostheoretische Kunstgeschichte

Der Virtuelle Realismus, mel-arts Chaostheoretische Kunstgeschichte

Ästhetik und Kunst, mel-arts Chaostheoretische Kunstphilosophie

Duchamp und die traditionelle Chinesische Malerei

Duchamp und die Postmoderne Chinesische Malerei

GALERIE MEL CONTEMPORARY represents the following artists:

Aba Gerhard / Altmüller Beni / Balavat / Bergler Fritz / Buchta Wolfgang / Chen Xi / Czaschka Jürgen/ Dalpra Mario /Dickinger Martin / Dimanche Lui / Du Fei / Fassel Gerda / Hofstätter Astrid / Holub Oscar / Kühn Josef / Luis Zenita / Malwerkstatt Graz / Messensee Jürgen / Moldovan Virgilius / Muehlbacher Isabelle / Nemec Thomas / Novoszel Erich / Parthl Helmuth / Pongratz Peter / Popic Jovana / Qi-Kai Zhang / Scheidl Roman / Schiefer Jürgen / Stalzer Andreas / Verhoeven Monika / Waber Linde / Wald Ingrid/Wallner Heimo / Wang Wen Sheng / Wang Zheng / Werkner Turi / Wondrusch Ernst Ferdinand / Wu Jan Wei / Zens Herwig /Zhang Weiguo/ Zuo Yuan/ Yu Feng