The end of Melanie Manchot’s major new art exhibition at the award-winning Towner gallery in Eastbourne is being marked by a special project between the artist, the community radio station, RadioReverb and the alcohol and substance misuse service, Brighton Oasis Project.
People Places Propositions is Melanie Manchot’s first major exhibition of new and recent work opening at Towner on 16 April, and includes the culmination of the UK tour for Twelve (2015), the artist’s acclaimed multi-channel video installation work exploring the intimate stories, rituals and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery.
To mark the end of the tour, Manchot is working with Brighton-based organisations Radio Reverb and addiction treatment centre Brighton Oasis Project to produce Twelve+ (Radio), a 60-minute radio programme addressing addiction and recovery through music, literature and theatre, and the overlaps between therapy, acting and making art.
Constructed in four parts, Twelve+ (Radio) features a new drama based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Red Shoes. Manchot worked with seven children and five therapists from the Brighton Oasis Project to devise two scenes for the radio drama taking The Red Shoes as the starting point.
A perfect metaphor for addiction, the story follows an orphaned girl who loses control over her desire for a pair of red shoes, and is condemned to dance forever. The other sections of the programme include a short documentary about Nicky Potts completing the award-winning radio programme she began in 2004 about the tragic consequences of addiction on her and her family, a performance and conversation by actors in recovery Stephen Giddings and Sue Devaney; and poet Maggie Sawkins presenting from Zones of Avoidance, her book exploring her daughter’s descent into addiction and schizophrenia which won her The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
As well as a radio broadcast, Twelve+ (Radio) is presented as an audio installation in the exhibition, alongside other Twelve+ projects developed on the UK tour including a sculpture made from newspaper, posters and the Twelve publication.
The video installation Twelve was directly informed by the personal written and oral testimonies of twelve people in recent recovery from substance misuse, using their creative conceptions and performances within the final works. It was inspired by renowned contemporary filmmakers such as Michael Haneke, Gus van Sant, Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman.
Twelve is also accompanied by Lost Weekend, a programme of contemporary and classic films exploring addiction, recovery and obsessive, traumatic behaviours inspired by, or used in the development of Twelve.
Twelve+ (Radio) is broadcast at 1pm, Sunday 1 May 2016 and repeated each week at 1pm on 8, 15, 22 & 29 May 2016.