CCP/City of Yarra Billboard
Corner of Smith & Otter Streets Collingwood
August 2015—February 2016
The work's title, The Nose, is lifted from Nikalai Gogol's satirical short story, in which the central character's nose falls off and takes on a life of its own. Here, Mantsio casts herself as the nose, on a journey and her temporary studio in Athens as the face it fell off. The work considers the idea of the artist and the role of the artist's studio, and how social landscapes and cultural exchanges influence creative and interpretive processes. The space where an artist creates has always been a place of intrigue. How important is the location of the artist's studio in relation to their process and output? Exploring her heritage and also in search of an authentic 'image' of Greece, Mantsio invited photographer, Dionisis Andrianopoulos, to form new arrangements with the objects she had made or collected locally, blurring the boundaries of artistic identity.
Referencing art history, film, design, fashion and literature, Mantsio's images are both familiar and odd. A fortress of huge frames and a tangle of threads—Mantsio weaves her audience through shapes and semi-dysfunctional furniture. Made in a studio complex in Ommonia that sits comfortably here on the border of Fitzroy and Collingwood; both areas are vibrant, teeming with artists and studios, whilst entertaining all walks of life and the trade of everything from the illicit to the popular mid-century modern aesthetic. Fusing elements and ideas across time and place, Mantsio offers viewers a window into her studio, and an opaque portrait of the artist—or is it Andrianopoulos?
Michelle Mantsio's art practice is research-based; she undertakes interviews and fieldwork that become instructions that guide her subsequent art-making. She completed a degree in Fine Art with Honours and a Master of Art in Public Space at RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently completing a PhD at VCA, Melbourne. Mantsio is a member of the Melbourne writing collective
Stamm. Mantsio has participated in numerous international workshops, think tanks, symposiums
and conferences and has exhibited nationally and internationally.
The OUT THERE Billboard Art Program is a Yarra Council initiative in partnership with 7-Eleven.
Image: Michelle Mantsio The Nose, set 5 2015, courtesy the artist
Last Updated 24 January 2017