Approved: 01.07.2020

melissandre varin

Artist, Community worker, Editor, Film-maker, Researcher

Approved: 01.07.2020

Relation, displacement, multiplicity, identity, interdependency, and language emerge from melissandre’s work. Making from an Afro and Caribbean diasporic context, melissandre add layers of complexity using a situated Black feminism. Through poetic performance arts, moving image assemblages, and site-specific installations - among other things - melissandre interrogate how the encounter between bodies that have been marginalised, everyday materials, and institutional spaces transgresses normativity.

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Artist Statement

Relation, displacement, multiplicity, identity, interdependency, and language emerge from melissandre’s work. Making from an Afro and Caribbean diasporic context, melissandre add layers of complexity using a situated Black feminism. Through poetic performance arts, moving image assemblages, and site-specific installations - among other things - melissandre interrogate how the encounter between bodies that have been marginalised, everyday materials, and institutional spaces transgresses normativity.

Commissioned nationally and internationally, melissandre co-parent 2 years old Eole. They currently work on B.O.O.K (Building Our Own Knowledge) a healing (library, art, rest) station supported by Coventry Biennial, prepare transnational afrofeminist performances, are the curator of Open Call part of Studies in Theatre and Performance and are a Coventry Artspace Advisory Group member. melissandre also opperate in universities to raise inquieries during talks, workshops, and conferences as well as take on offers of commissions from arts bodies resonating with their work.

CV & Education

Education

2018- 2020 PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies and Sciences du Language, Universities of Warwick and Luxembourg

2015- 2016 Master in Environment and Sustainable Development,UCL Development Planning Unit

2013-2014 Intensive Mandarin course, Fudan University, ShangHai, China

2011-2015 Bachelor in International Management, Toulouse Business School, France

Further Education

08-11/2021 curation training, Outside In, UK

04/2021 School of Participation, Creative Europe, Novi Sad, Serbia

2018 Un Oeuf Maison d'artistes, Artists' House, funded by EU leadership fund, Martinique, Caribbeans

Artist residencies

10-13/09/2021 Black TestimonieS, Small Bells Ring, Studio Morison, funded by the UK City of Culture Trust, Canal Boat, UK

02/2021- 08/2021 Seasonal Residencies, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry Artspace, funded by ACE and Coventry City Council, Coventry, UK

11/2020 when things go wrong, Talking Birds, Coventry, UK

10-11/2020 Coventry Artspace, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry, UK

09-12/2020 Outside In Featured artist, Middlands, UK

04-05 2020 with Eole, Talking Birds, Coventry, UK

Research and Development

05-06/2020 Black Queer n'done, Coventry Pride, UK

12/2020 - 02/2021 Building Our Own Knowledge (B.O.O.K), Coventry Biennial, UK

07/2020 in-between-us, Theatre Absolute, Coventry, UK

Mentorship and creative consultancy

09/2021 Motherland, Ayesha Jones, project supported by Unlimited 

09/2021 - 01/2022 Black queer n'done, film, Coventry Pride, UK

Solo show

10-11/2020 a living space, Coventry Artspace Arcadia City Gallery, Coventry, UK

02-03/2021 sorry we are close(d), Coventry Artspace Arcadia City Gallery, Coventry, UK

Award

10/2020 Coventry Artspace in Action Award

Collective exhibition

02/08 - 10/10/2021 All Bound Together?, curated by Elinor Hayes, Shape Arts, UK

27/07-21/08/2021 multiplicity of us, curated by melissandre varin, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry Artspace, funded by ACE and Coventry City Council, UK

12/2020 Art and Activism curated by Helen Wewiora, Outside In, UK

06/2020 Breath, Be, Perform, visual arts, The Criposium, digital exhibition, UK

05/2020 of flour and Earth, Performance with 15 mo Eole, Collectif24, digital exhibition, Carribbean collective

Commissions

02-10/2021 B.O.O.K (Building Our Own Knwoledge), Coventry Biennial, UK

08/2021 extraction of knowledge, Life Futures, Coventry University and Warwick University, UK

07/2021 love languageS, Apples and Snakes, UK

04/2021 an Other ABC, Axisweb, UK

03/2021 synthetising violence, stark bollock naked, commissioned by Larisa Faber,CID Fraen Gender, Luxembourg, Europe

09/2020 staying in touch commissioned by Cultre Central, Birmingham, UK

07/2020 #BlackLivesMatter, screen-based performance, Slanguages, FUEL, and Don't Settle, UK

07/2020 DO IT YOURSELF, Text based mails on performance, Coventry Biennial, Coventry, UK

06/ 2020 Uninterrupted forms of resistance, screen-based performance,Coventry Pride, Coventry UK

Film screening

28/08/2021 Troubled Waters and Dweling, 13 Films Aspect Analogue at Commonground curated by Adele M. Reed, Common Ground, Coventry, UK

17/07/2021 Body (e)scape, Film liberation, Fargo Village, Coventry, UK

27/02/2021 funeral of normativity, Switchboard, online artist talk, UK

15/10/2020 a film about us, Coventry Artspace, UK

09/2020 handle/ with care, prendre/ avec soin, in collaboration with Jeremie Priam, Coventry - Martinique, Outside In, UK

21/12/2020 staying in touch, Ident festival, online festival, UK

26/09/2021 staying in touch, Birmingham Weekender, Culture Central, UK

2020 Black Kinky Hair, Change your Style, organised by WARSOC, WASS, BWP, and WORDSOC at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

2019 Presentation of Framing/Reframing fragmentation, PaR lab (Practice as research laboratory), University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Selected live performances

14/02/2021 funeral of normativity, Outdoor Coventry, Coventry Artspace, UK 

10/2020 roots/routes processing to one's final form, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry, UK

12/08/2020 Eating the (m)other, Word of warning, Machester, UK

26/07/2020 Celebrating someone's birthday, Foleshill Community Centre, Coventry, UK

Selected audio-visual performances and films

28/07/2021 Troubled Waters and Dweling, event curated by Adele M. Reed, Common Ground, Coventry, UK

07-08/2021 extraction of knowledge, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry, UK

07/2021 Body (e)scape, Film liberation, Fargo Village, Coventry, UK

02/2021 funeral of normativity, Coventry Artspace, UK

10/2020 a film about us, Coventry Artspace, UK

09/2020 handle/ with care, prendre/ avec soin, in collaboration with Jeremie Priam, Coventry - Martinique, Outside In, UK

09/2020 staying in touch commissioned by Cultre Central, Birmingham, UK

07/2020 'am i being used?' #BlackLivesMatter, screen-based performance, Slanguages, FUEL, and Don't Settle, Birmingham, UK

07/2020 Out of order please do not use, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

05/2020 of flour and Earth, home-based, Coventry, UK

2019 Un brouillon et des ratures, Luxembourg University, Luxembourg, EU

2017 YunNan, a film on stillbirth, Berlin, EU

Talks

28/09/2021 life futures, round table, Coventry University, Warwick University, UK

06/09/2021Institutional AntiRacism, panel conversation, TAPRA conference, UK

23/06/2021 healing as a pre-requisite, SCUDD conference, UK

10/06/2021 Black imagination(s), curated by Amahra Spence, Imagination Infrastructuring, UK

08/06/2021 and 10/08/2021 Visibility BlackArtProject talking about the work of Keith Piper and Lubaina Himid

01/06/2021 artist talk, student showcase, Brunel University, London UK

12/03/2021 artist talk, Roehampton University, London, UK

04/03/2021 just a series of transition, artist talk, Coventry Artspace, UK

04/03/2021 anti-racism and performance arts, Brunel University, London, UK

12/02/2021 practice of resistance process of mothering, and round table with Yinka Esi Graves, Dance Democracy 2, UK

Performative interventions

2019 Black Feminist Workshops, poetry and home movie, CID Fraen Gender, Luxembourg, EU

05/09/2019 Presentation of Framing/Reframing fragmentation, CID Fraen Gender, Luxembourg, EU

Curation

2020/2023 Open Call, 12 commissions per year, events, working group, Studies Theatre and Performance journal, funded by SCUDD, UK

2021- 2022 B.O.O.K (Building Our Own Knowledge), 10 art residencies, 3 commissions, working group, facilitation, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, UK

2021 unregulated Black intimacy, 10 Black feminist film commissions, papaya,funded by the UK City of Culture Trust, transnational interventions

Selected invitations

03-09/01/2022 International festival of Performance arts, curated by Annabel Guérédrat, Cecilia Bracmort, and Henri Tauliot, Martinique, Caribbean

7-1711/2021 Our Teaching Takes Shape As We Go, international project Africa/UK: Transforming Art Ecologies, curated by Soukaina Aboulaoula and Cindy Sissokho Morocco

10/2021 - 01/2022 Cities of Cultures: Sharing Practices of Storytelling between Casablanca and Coventry, curated by Lou Sarabadzic

Selected interviews

08/2021 Peckham-based arts collective launches online exhibition of work by disabled and non-disabled artists

12/2020 Axisweb December Artist of the month 

10/12/2020 melissandre varin, Live Out Loud podcast, Axisweb, UK

10/2020 BBC CWR interview as part of Black History month

2019 Black Lives and their pluriversal ways of expression Matter, CID Fraen Gender, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Embodied essays

2020 Freezing elements of research, Journal of Embodied Research (JER), UK

2019 Framing/ Refraining fragmentation, Luxembourg University, Luxembourg, UK

Selected contributions

2020 Rapport au corps, SlagMag, Birmingham, UK

2020 my plot, my rules, The Garden Zine, issue one, Coventry UK

2020 Making nearby, Occupying the in-between, UK

2020 When does the rainbow stop? Gertrude Zine #2, Coventry UK