right place  

refuse: (v)(n)(–)   ✕

by Melmel Chen
refuse: (v)(n)(–) contains many high-res image + video works and should be experienced on larger screens.

Arranged in an indoor garden with a dispersion of embroidered white floor pillows, “Right Place” is a warm invitation for an unusual outsider gaze. It creates a performative situation that temporarily renders the viewer a Flâneur. Bringing one’s body closer to gaze at the plants gestures an opportunity to see these living beings through a inquisitive and kinder approach

The connotations of the term ‘weed’ have come to signify invasive plant life that deserve little more than passive attention, or at worst, extermination. This work de-contextualises their natural conditions and reconsiders their sites of exposure and relations to humans. Removed from its original context, cultural interpretation and economical use-value, the plants now regain their own grandeur and transcend social, cultural and economic validation.

Here, I host a space that encourages an exchange between domestic and social experiences, to simultaneously create internal and external awarenesses of the environment. With sincere attention and a warm gaze towards them, the plants are deterritorialized and reveal their pure aura. I encourage you to empathise with the plants and to acknowledge their diversity, fluidity and adaptability, which are the virtues relevant to the contemporary context of globalisation, rather than their usability and availability.

By embracing twenty-five diverse species of plants, a cultural misrepresented investigation takes place; an abrupt act of crossing borders grows wildly to address the issues of place-making, immigration, nationality and identity.

Plants including:  Bellis  Perennis  (Common Daisy),  Ranunculus  Acris  (Meadow  Buttercup),  Hypochaeris  Radicata  (Cats Ear), Glechoma  Hederacea  (Ground Ivy),  Dipsacus  Fullonum  (Teasel),  Daucus Carota  (Wild Carrot),  Leontodon  Hispidus   (Rough Hawkbit),  Chrysanthemum  Parthenium  (Feverfew),  Geranium  Pyrenaecium  (Hedge Cranesbill),  Leontodon  Hispidus  (Greater Hawkbit),  Myosotis  Arvensis  (Field Forget-me-not),  Linaria  Cymbalaria  (Ivy Leaved  Toadflax),  Carduus Nutans  (Musk Thistle),  Veronica  Spicata  (Spiked Speedwell),  Plantago  Media (Hoary  Plantain),  Dianthus  Deltoides  (Maiden Pink),  Achillea  Millefolium  (Yarrow),  Hieracium  Aurantiacum  (Fox and Cubs),  Cichorium  Intybus  (Wild Chicory),  Trifolium  Pratense  (Red Clover),  etc.

plants, pillowcase, pad, chipboard (various shapes), dimensions variable.

Melmel Chen (1984, Taiwan) is an interdisciplinary artist, who lives and works in London. In the last five years, her artistic research has primarily focused on investigating subject and object relationships, specifically in terms of philosophical and biopolitical spectacle. She works through a variety of media, ranging from image, photography, sculpture and installation. Melmel is interested in how humans perceive reality and fiction, and how the differences in culture, history, and society influence the navigation and categorisation of such experiences.