Nathaniel Mellors

Nathaniel Mellors
Ourhouse, Episode 3 – The Cure of Folly
15 November – 16 December 2012

Nathaniel Mellors
Previously in Ourhouse…

A mysterious male form has appeared in the front room of the bohemian Maddox-Wilson family home. The imposing figure is a looming, white-haired man wearing a white tracksuit and trainers. It barely moves. The family does not recognise it as a human being. They refer to it as ‘The Object’ and struggle for words in its presence. The Object’s inanimate appearance is superficial; it is able to control language inside the house. At night The Object appears in the library where it begins to eat and regurgitate the family’s books. The specific pages The Object consumes affect the story; the family is forced to play out different episodes under the influence of the books The Object has been eating.

At the beginning of Ourhouse, Episode 3: The Cure of Folly we see The Object consuming books on Flemish painting, including images of Hieronymus Bosch’s masterworks The Haywain (1510) and The Extraction of the Stone of Madness or The Cure of Folly, (1494). Following The Object’s consumption of these pages the house (Ourhouse), its patriarchal 1970’s owner Charles ‘Daddy’ Maddox-Wilson and his glamorous younger wife Babydoll are threatened by a newly materialised group of ‘medievalists’. A disconsolate cluster of men is rounded up and led, on a haywain, towards the house by the pregnant, feminist mystic ‘The Hek’ and her hench-women Xantho and Sigourney who ‘want the stone of madness’… Doctor Tony, a pre-reformation sexist, puppeteers his own alter ego, ‘Father Griffin’.

Nathaniel Mellors absurdist video series Ourhouse (2010–ongoing) mixes formal aspects of TV drama and situation comedy with contemporary art concerns. In episode 3, Mellors’ fourth instalment of the Ourhouse series, the membranes between fantasy, reality and the production and consumption of narrative become even further conflated than before. Episodes 1, 2 & 4 were first exhibited at De Hallen, Haarlem (2010) and British Art Show 7 – In The Days of the Comet (2010–11). There have been subsequent, alternative presentations of the series and/or works at ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale (2011), ICA, London (2011), :Hypercolon:, SMART Project Space (2011) and The Nest, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (2011–12).

Ourhouse, Episode: 1, 2 & 4 commissioned by De Hallen Haarlem and British Art Show 7 – In The Days of the Comet with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund; the Fonds B.K.V.B; Matt’s Gallery, London, Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam; MONITOR, Rome and ICA, London. Ourhouse, Episode 3: The Cure of Folly was commissioned by SMART Project Space, Amsterdam with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund and the Fonds B.K.V.B. Additional support from Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Matt’s Gallery, London; Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam and MONITOR, Rome. Ourhouse, Episodes: 1-4 produced by NOMAD (Michael Smythe and Piera Buckland), Nathaniel Mellors and Gwendoline Christie.