Nathaniel Mellors: Estate

28 Sep-18 Dec 2022
PV 25 Sep 2022, 3-6pm

Matt’s Gallery
London SW11 7AN


Private View + PERMANENT PRESENTS Book Launch: Sunday 25 September 2–5pm

Estate is a new exhibition by Nathaniel Mellors bringing together works developed over the last decade and not previously exhibited in the UK. It features a cluster of Neanderthal-themed film and video works: Neanderthal Crucifixion (2021), Neanderthal Container (2014), and The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview (2013) – held aloft by estate-agent like sales figures rendered as 4-foot high puppets.

Mellors projects issues of class and ownership of knowledge and culture into his absurdist Upper Palaeolithic fictions, using the study of The Upper Palaeolithic as ‘a lens for the present’. He has described the Neanderthal as ‘the ultimate prehistoric other figure,’ observing that the gap between the human and Neanderthal, which was considered to be absolute, has shrunk into negative space. The Neanderthal is now inside us genetically and is viewed in an increasingly positive light; significantly more now than when Mellors made The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview (2013) in part as a parody of social assumptions around cultural knowledge.

In his most recent work, Neanderthal Crucifixion (2021), the Neanderthal artist, locked-down in the cave, ruminates on its achievements in art and design and its relationship with the cave-owning power-structure ‘The Sporgo’. It experiences a crisis of the ego. The work was animated and performed by Mellors during lockdown.

Mellors has also been developing new works in an ongoing series of ‘BROW’ paintings (2022) which extend the neanderthal brow motif into absurdist figuration.

Estate also features new music videos from The God In Hackney (Mellors’ group with Andy Cooke, Dan Fox and Ashley Marlowe) and a new solo 7″ single Life Becomes a Promo/ Digital Worms issued as a special joint-edition between Matt’s Gallery and the artist’s Junior Aspirin Records.

Accompanying the exhibition is PERMANENT PRESENTS, published by FRAC Bretagne with support from Matt’s Gallery, Leeds Beckett University and Galerie Crévecoeur Paris.

Estate is Mellors’ 5th solo exhibition at Matt’s Gallery.

With support from The Elephant Trust.