Melanie Manchot: TWELVE

18 September 2015 — 1 November 2015

TWELVE is Melanie Manchot’s major new multi channel video installation exploring the intimate stories, rituals, repetitions and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery. Inspired by the visual acuity of renowned contemporary filmmakers, the work connects and collapses individual recollections in which everyday situations, events and activities are rendered dramatic or abstract and infused with tragedy, pathos and humour.

Over the last two years Manchot has worked in dialogue with twelve people in recent recovery from substance misuse, in rehabilitation communities in Liverpool, Oxford and London. TWELVE is directly informed by their personal written and oral testimonies, creative conceptions, and performances within the final works. Single sequences are shot as continuous takes, referencing iconic scenes from the films of Michael Haneke, Gus van Sant, Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman – a ferry journey across the Mersey, a darkened room looking out on to an early morning street, a car wash, the cutting of daisies with small scissors, the obsessive cleaning of a floor – providing the framework for reflections on remembered incidents and states of mind. TWELVE employs a diversity of cinematic technique and tropes adapted by Manchot to reveal the complex and non-linear nature of recovery.

Melanie Manchot is a London based visual artist who works with photography, film, video and installation as part of a performative and participatory practice. Her projects often explore specific sites and public spaces in order to locate notions of individual and collective identities, investigating particular gestures and forms of movement or activities that become the marker of a group or community. Manchot’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries, museums and film festivals internationally including at Whitechapel Gallery and The Photographers’ Gallery, London; MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow; GoMA, Glasgow; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon.

To coincide with the exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, Manchot has developed a series of workshops with people from the North West in long-term recovery. With the support of The Priory Clinic, the participants are each exploring their experiences in the cycle of addiction and recovery and their reactions to the video work to produce a series of artworks to be shown at poster-sites across Manchester from the 11 September – 15 October 2015. Find them here with this Google Map link (

Tour dates:
Peckham Platform, London, 22 May – 26 July 2015
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 18 September – 1 November 2015
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, 23 January – 20 March 2016
Towner, Eastbourne, 16 April – 26 June 2016

TWELVE was commissioned by curator Mark Prest, founder of Portraits of Recovery and developed by Melanie Manchot working with Action on Addiction, the Ley Community and the Psychosocial Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire. TWELVE is financially supported by Small Arts Awards from the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England through the National Lottery. An edited version of TWELVE featured in Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age at FACT, 5 March – 17 May 2015.  Twelve+ Manchester was developed with participant support from the Priory Hospital, Altrincham as part of a series of commissions responding to the exhibition tour’s local recovery community contexts.

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DACS Foundation. Art Talks: Melanie Manchot

Listen to visual artist Melanie Manchot talk about her latest project, Twelve - a major multi channel video installation exploring the intimate stories, rituals, repetitions and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery. She discusses the inspiration behind the artwork, as well as the challenges arising from the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. The talk was moderated by Mark Waugh, Head of Research and Innovation at DACS. Art Talks: Melanie Manchot took place on 2 July 2015. It launches a series of artist talks programmed by DACS Foundation throughout 2015 and 2016. For further information about the visit: