Melanie Wilson

13 pieces, 17 feet

13 pieces 17 feet was first performed as part of the Park Nights series at the Serpentine Gallery Pavillion (designed by Jean Nouvel) in September 2010. Conceived by artist Becky Beasley, this performative project, finds its point of departure in photographer Eadweard Muybridge's extraordinary 1878 panoramic photograph of San Francisco. The third panel of the photograph portrays the house of railroad millionaire Charles Crocker, including the infamous 'Spite Fence' he built around the house of his neighbour, Nicolas Yung, a German Undertaker, whom Crocker was unable to persuade to sell his land.

Performed by Melanie Wilson, this monologue in thirteen parts and multiple voices follows an alternating structure between historical fictions and abstract texts, and incorporates exquisite details of archival photographs, creating an event which spirals slowly into the black hole at the centre of an extraordinary object. The project was developed in collaboration with writer Chris Sharp, and in partnership with Kingston Museum & Archive and the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, as part of Muybridge in Kingston.

Becky Beasley was born in 1975 in Portsmouth, England, and currently lives and works in Antwerp. Beasley participated in Slow Movement at Kunsthalle Bern (2009), Word Event at Kunsthalle Basel (2008) and The Malady of Writing at MACBA (2009—2010). In 2010 she was commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston and the Serpentine Pavilion to produce her first institutional projects. She was also selected for the British Art Show 7. In 2009 she published her second artist’s book, Thomas Bernard Malamud. She is represented by Laura Bartlett Gallery, London and Office Baroque, Antwerp.

Chris Sharp (b. 1974, USA) lives and works in Paris. His writing has appeared in Art Review, frieze, Kaleidoscope, Art Monthly, among other magazines. He recently co-curated with Joanna Fiduccia The Zero Budget Biennial,, and he is currently co-curating with Gianni Jetzer Under Destruction, a survey of destruction in contemporary art, which will take place at the Tinguely Museum, Basel from October 2010 to January 2011 and the Swiss Institute, New York from March to April 2011, and preparing A Necessarily Incomplete Anthology of Withdrawal, to be published by Archive Books, Berlin, in 2011.