Courtesy of Melanie Smith
MELANIE SMITH: 5 MINUTES (2020)
19th March 2022 - 29th April 2022
Pavement Gallery presents Melanie Smith’s 5 Minutes (2020) in an exhibition opening in March 2022. The work highlights the influence that signs and signals hold over our lives, by reducing an electronic bus timetable to glowing, flashing blips and dots. Jumbled lights, number and occasional words resist any decipherable logic, querying our localities within cities and fragmenting the quotidian urban existence into a chaotic montage. The interspersion of CCTV footage of commuters reminds us of our own presence within this volatile system. Under constant surveillance we question our relationship to technology and the autonomy we have, or do not have, over our own image. Smith’s work consistently addresses themes of urbanisation and modernity in relation to contemporary society, influenced by her move from the UK to Mexico City in 1989. Blurring and blending the metropolitan areas we inhabit, Smith explores the aesthetic saturation of modern cities, revealing the thinly veiled entropic pull behind every bustling urban environment - as evidenced by the fragmentary footage of 5 Minutes (2020).
Located just off one of the busiest roads in Manchester, Pavement Gallery’s placement draws strong parallels with the work’s source material of Essex Road in North London. The window space allows us to view Smith’s work as both a subversive tool and a mirror to reflect our reliance on technology in order to explore the world.