Auto Italia, London, 13 December 2019
Bod Mellor
Sirens, 2019, Bod Mellor. Courtesy of the artist.

Auto Italia presents Sirens, an evening of performance launching Bod Mellor’s first novel, published by Montez Press.

If you have ever wondered how a cross between a funding application gone wrong and a tabloid column about the art world would read, this is it. Mellor presents a unique combination of novel and image, creating a polymorphous narrator who moves between personifications. Perhaps the most hazardous of these is Tippy Rampage, who is satisfyingly livid with the state of, well, everything.

In a series of paintings, female police officers from British television shows such as Happy Valley and The Bill are positioned in an array of apocalyptic settings: freezing, burning and backdropped by flooding. The accompanying text chronicles an acute feeling of being watched, what it feels like to watch whoever is watching you, or, as Mellor writes, how it feels to be kettled in your own flat, by your own paintings.

Fragmented accounts map the protagonist’s shifting relationship to crime, gender, class and sexuality from multiple perspectives: as a child in Gamesley in the ‘70s, a lesbian performer in sex clubs in the mid-1990s, an artist with and without gallery representation, and as a lecturer within an academic institution. These changes of position mix the language of a rallying cry with an acerbic satire of the authorial voice and everyone they encounter.

Auto Italia’s commissions are made possible by our Exhibition Circle and Member supporters.

Bod Mellor (b. 1970, UK) is an artist based in London. They work predominantly with painting to explore misreprentation and iconoclasm of celebrity image. They have been exhibiting internationally since the 1990s, with solo exhibitions and special projects at Tate Britain, London (2019); Studio Voltaire, London (2019); The Migros Museum, Zurich (2016); Victoria Miro, London (2016); The National Portrait Gallery, London (touring); Kunstverein, Hamburg (2015); Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2013); and Team Gallery, New York (2008).