Alli Melanson

November 10 - December 16, 2023


Émergent Magazine

AM: Going back to your question about what thresholds are, these doors are doors, but they're not. There's no mechanism for them to open and it doesn't appear that that was ever really part of the design. They're cast shut, as a single piece.

AM: I'm interested in how he approached this thing over time - a subtractive outcome. It's not minimal but reduced to essentials. Concentrated, which is a drink word. 

AM: I don't know if I've told you the title of the show. I don't know. I don't know. Anyway, it's called Attention, which is taken from Simone Weil. As she talks about it, attention is opposed to will; attention being a more passive stance but it's not relaxed - it's like being at attention and actively resisting the impulse to act. She talks about attention as a directional focus towards, in her case, she's talking about God and letting this orientation cause you to be changed. It's basically like, don't do anything, just direct your attention in the right way. 

AM: It also has something to do with noticing. Cultivating a certain type of attention is repetitive. It's about practice and learning something. 

AM: One of the analogies that she gives is talking about a bushel of grapes, like a cluster of grapes, okay? If you grab at it, all the grapes are just going to fall and scatter on the floor. 

Alli Melanson lives and works in Montréal. She holds an MFA from Concordia University (Montréal) and a BFA from OCAD University (Toronto). In 2023, she presented a solo project at 100 Bell Towers, and was included in the group exhibitions, "Bistro" at Chris Andrews and "Seep State" at Franz Kaka.