MEL O'CALLAGHAN

Born in 1975 in Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Paris, France

The body – in its broadest sense – permeates Mel O’Callaghan’s video, installation, augmented reality, painting, sound and performance work. Communion and resonance with nature, and with each other, is at the heart of her practice. Born out of extensive research, long-term collaboration and exchange with oceanographers, microbial ecologists, performers, musicologists and psychologists, environmentalists and rights activists, she investigates notions of resistance, endurance and transformation in the body and the environment. In her video and performance works she traces places and practices centred around sites on earth that are said to remain similar to when life first emerged. Responding to the start of multicellular life on earth and the desire of a single cell to double, she relates the impulse of the primordial cell to our inclination to connect.


EDUCATION

Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia
Master of Fine Arts in Research, College of Fine Arts COFA, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Bachelor of Science Architecture, University of Sydney, Australia


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
 
2023
All Is Life, Esker Foundation, Calgary, Canada
 
2022
All Is Life, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Ore of Cyprus, Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney, AU
Centre of the Centre, Samstag Museum, Adelaide, Australia

2021
Centre of the Centre. Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, AU
Primary/Secondary Score. Nuit Blanche, Centre sportif Léo Lagrange, Paris, FR
Glasshouse Arts Centre, Port Macquarie, Australia
Goulburn Regional Gallery, Goulburn, Australia
 
 2020    
Centre of the Centre. Carpintarias de São Lázaro Centre of Contemporary Art, Lisbon, PT
Centre of the Centre. UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, AU
Centre of the Centre. Tour Museums and Galleries NSW (MGNSW), AU
 
2019    
Centre of the Centre. Confort Moderne, Poitiers, FR
Centre of the Centre. Artspace, Sydney, AU
 
2018    
Primary/ Secondary Score. Barangaroo et Carriageworks, Sydney, AU
 
2017   
Mel O'Callaghan: Ensemble. cur. Jane Devery. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, AU
Dangerous on-the-way. cur. Daria de Beauvais, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR
En Masse. Galerie Allen, Paris, FR
L'acte Gratuit. Kronenberg, Mais Wright, Sydney, AU
 
2015   
Dangerous looking-back. Galeria Belo-Galsterer, Lisbon, PT
Ensemble. Loop, Barcelona, ES
 
2014  
L'acte gratuit. Galerie Allen, Paris, FR
Time to Act. Museum Medeiros e Almeida, Lisbon, PT
Ensemble. Osmos presents at First Street Green, New York, USA
 
2013   
Ensemble. Belo-Galsterer Galerie, Lisbon, PT
 
2012   
Endgame. Belo-Galsterer Galerie, Lisbon, PT
Move. Casa Museu Medeiros e Almeida, Lisbon, PT
 
2011  
Each Mineral Flake Of That Night Filled Mountain. GRANTPIRRIE Offsite, Melbourne, AU
 
2010   
Each Atom Of That Stone In Itself Forms A World. GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney, AU
 
2008   
Topsy Turvy. GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney, AU
 
2007   
Landslide. Galerie Schleicher Lange, Paris, FR
 
2006   
The Fall. Galerie Schleicher Lange, Paris, FR
 
2005   
Somewhere. Galerie Schleicher Lange, Paris FR
Somewhere. Sherman Galleries, Sydney, AU
 
2004  
The Fall. Salles E.M. Sandoz M. David-Weill, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, FR
The Fall. Annandale Galleries, Sydney, AU
 
2003   
In The Half Light. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, AU
 
2002   
The Fly and the Mountain. AGNSW The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, AU
On This Day It Was Cold. Room 35 Gallery, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney, AU
We Had Walked All Day. Department of Public Works, Sydney, AU
 
2001   
Vagari. Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, CZ
Today We Looked At Walls. Sherman Galleries Hargrave, Sydney, AU
Mel + Nell. Room Gallery, Rotterdam, NL
 
2000   
Nell + Mel. Stadt Munchen Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Mel + Nell. Room 35, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney, AU
 
1999   
Nell + Mel. Room 35, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney, AU
 
1998   
Mel + Nell. Room 35, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney, AU
Lot. CBD, Sydney, AU
 
1997   
Illume. 1st FLOOR, Melbourne, AU
 
1996   
Automate. Firstdraft, Sydney, AU



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2022

Seeing the Invisible, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Jerusalem, Israel
INTERSTICES: TURNS #3, Galerie Allen, Paris, FR

2021
(Un)learning, Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA), Seoul, South Korea
Lost Weekend, Galerie Allen, Paris, France
 
2020
Abstraction, Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney, Australia
 
2019   
What Lies Within: Centre of the Centre. Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines
Some of Us. Kunstwerk Carlshutte, Budelsdorf, DE
Primary/ Secondary Score. Greater Taipei Biennale, Yo-Chang Art Museum, National Taiwan University of Arts, TW
 
2018    
200 Videos. Museo D?Art Contemporanea Di Roma (MACRO), Rome, IT
Vertiges. Lab-Labanque, Béthune, FR
Out In The Cold. Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK
International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
Kronenberg Wright, Sydney, AU
ARCO Lisboa, Lisbon, PT
 
2017   
Prix Meurice pour l'art contemporain. cur. Claire Moulène & Angela Blanc, Hôtel Meurice, Paris, FR
ART-O-RAMA. Galerie Allen, Marseille, FR
L'Éternité par les astres. cur. Léa Bismuth. Les Tanneries, Centre d'art contemporain, Amilly, FR
Lock/ Route. cur. Khai Hori, Gillman Barracks, Singapore, SG
Galerie Allen, Arco, Madrid, ES (dual presentation with Boris Achour)
Kronenberg Wright, Sydney Contemporary, Australia
 
2016   
L'art de la révolte (The Art of Revolt) Hors-Pistes. cur. Géraldine Gomez and Charlène Dinhut, Musée National D'Art
Moderne. Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR
L'art de la révolte (The Art of Revolt) Hors-Pistes. cur. Géraldine Gomez and Charlene Dinhut Centre Pompidou, Malaga, ES
Museum as Performance. cur. Cristina Grande, Serralves Museum, Porto, PT
Nuit Blanche. Place Dauphine, Paris, FR
Do Disturb. cur. Vittoria Matarrese, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR
J'ai Rêvé Le Goût De La Brique Pilée. cur. Natsuko Uchino et Sophie Auger-Grappin. La Borne, Centre céramique contemporaine, Henrichemont, FR
 
2015   
Demain dans la bataille pense à moi. cur. Magalie Meunier. Institut d?art contemporain, Villeurbanne, FR
Les Drapeaux. cur. Pablo Cavero. XPO gallery, Paris, FR
Les Drapeaux. cur. Pablo Cavero. Maison des Arts, Malakoff, FR
The Place of Disquiet, Third edition of A3bandas. cur. Miguel Amado. F2 Galeria, Madrid, ES
Nature/ Revelation. cur. Joanna Bosse. The Ian Potter Museum, NGV National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, AU
 
2014   
19th Biennale of Sydney; You Imagine What You Desire. cur. Juliana Engberg. Cockatoo Island, Sydney, AU
White Night: Arcadian Revelry. cur. Anais Lellouche, Melbourne, AU
 
2013   
The Disorder of the Present Is the Order of the Future. cur. Alda Galsterer, Belo-Galsterer Galerie, Lisbon, PT
 
2012   
Livret IV. cur. Irmavep Club. Musée d?Art Contemporain de Rochechouart, FR
Desire Lines. cur. Juliana Engberg. ACCA Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, AU
 
2011   
The Rehearsal of Repetition. cur. Anja Isabel Schneider. GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney, AU
Motion/Pictures. cur. Joseph Allen Shea. Gallery A.S., Paramount Pictures, Sydney, AU
EVENT: New Moving Image Works. cur. Blair French. Artspace, Sydney, AU
 
2010   
Dying in Spite of the Miraculous. cur. Alexie Glass. Gurtrude Contemporary Art Space and Melbourne International Arts Festival Melbourne, AU
La Main Numerique. cur. Dominique Païni. National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, TW
La Main Numerique. cur. Dominique Païni. MABA Maison d?art Bernard Anthonioz, Paris, FR
 
2009   
Event: New Moving Image Works. cur. Blair French, Artspace, Sydney, AU
 
2008   
Fantasmata. cur. Luigi Fassi. AR/GE KUNST Galerie Museum, Bolzano, IT
Le Main Numerique. cur. Dominique Païni. Ecole d?art de la Communauté d?Annecy, Annecy, FR
 
2007   
Hamsterwheel. cur. Franz West, Printemps De Septembre, Les Jacobins, Toulouse FR
Hamsterwheel. cur. Franz West. CASM, Centre d?Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, ES
Vergäleibhaftig. Kunstverein Konstanz, DE
Vergäleibhaftig. Städtische Galerie Ravensburg, DE
Vergänglichkeit. Galerie Schleicher Lange, Paris, FR
Phases Of The Moon. IrmaVepLab, Châtillon-sur-Marne, FR
Sommerfrische Sehnsucht Nach Dem Paradies. Kunst:raum Sylt Quelle, DE
 
2006    
Videoformes. Prix de la Création Vidéo, Clermont Ferrand, FR
 
2005   
National Sculpture Prize, NGA National Gallery of Australia, AU
Videobrasil 05 15º. Internacional Electronic Arts Videobrasil, São Paulo, BR
Impakt 16th Impakt Festival, Utrecht, NL
Edinburgh International Film Festival, 59th Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, UK
 
2004   
Site (Unseen). cur. Laura Murray-Cree. Sherman Galleries, Sydney, AU
A Cut Across. cur. Megan Keating. Plymsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, AU
That Was Now, This is Then. cur. Alexi Glass Kantor, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney, AU
 
2003    
Printroom. Witte de Witt, Centre for Contemporary Art, cur. Karin de Jong, Rotterdam, NL
Printroom. Gurtrude Centre for Contemporary Art, cur. Karin de Jong, Melbourne, AU
 
2002   
Shoproom. Gun Gallery, Oslo, NO
 
2001   
Shoproom. Room Gallery, Rotterdam, NL
Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Award. Artspace, Sydney, AU



GRANTS, AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES

2021
Create NSW Project Grant
Australia Council For The Arts, Project Grant

2020
Australia Council For The Arts, Project Grant
The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Scholarship (finalist)

2019   
Aide de Projet, Fondation National des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques (FNAGP)
Australia Council For The Arts, Project Grant

2018   
Australia Council For The Arts, Project Grant, Centre of the Centre

2017   
Finalist, Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art / Prix Meurice pour l'art contemporain, FR
Fondation National des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques (FNAGP), Artist Studio, Nogent-sur-Marne, FR
Cité Internationale des Arts, Artist Residency, Paris, FR

2016   
Cité Internationale des Arts, Artist Residency, Paris, FR

2015  
Recipient of the SAM Prize for Contemporary Art, FR

2014  
Nominated for the Bernd Lohaus Prize, BE
The Australia Council for the Arts, Research and Development for new video piece in Borneo, MY

2013  
The Australia Council For The Arts, New Work Recipient for 19th Biennale of Sydney, Established Artist Category

2011  
Cité Internationale Des Arts, Artist Residency, Paris, FR

2007  
Cité Internationale Des Arts, Artist Residency, Paris, FR

2006  
The Australia Council For The Arts, New Work Recipient, Established Artist Category

2005  
Cité Internationale Des Arts Paris, Artist Residency, Paris, FR
National Sculpture Prize, Finalist, NGA National Gallery Of Australia, AU

2004  
Cité Internationale Des Arts Paris, Artist Residency AGNSW, Paris, FR

2001  
Centre For Contemporary Art, Artist Residency, Prague, CZ
Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Award, Finalist, Artspace, Sydney, AU
The University of Sydney, Dean?s Honours List, Sydney, AU
The Australia Council For The Arts, New Work Recipient, Emerging Artist Category


PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS

2018    
Sydney Contemporary Commission, Carriageworks and Barangaroo, Sydney, AU
 
2015   
Australian Embassy, Paris, FR
 
2007   
Attorney Generals Dept. ?Landslide?, The Justice Precinct, Sydney, AU

Attorney Generals Dept. ?All In One Day?, Foyer, Trial Courts, The Justice Precinct, Sydney, AU


PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 
FRAC Bretagne, Rennes, FR
UQ Art Museum, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, AU
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), AU
Monash University Museum of Modern Art (MUMA), AU
Artbank, Australian Government Art Collection, AU
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Attorney Generals Department, Australian Government, AU




SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2022

Melissa Bianca Amore, “Un/learning Australia”, The Saturday Paper, February 5-11, 2022 | No. 385

Stephanie Bunbury, “Seeing The Invisible”, The Age, January 6

Interview, Art Works, Series 2, Episode 4, ABC television, April 6

2021

Elyse Goldfinch in Know My Name, publication National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

Alana Kushnir, “Seeing the Invisible”, Broadsheet, 7 October, 2021

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, “Seeing the Invisible”, Del Mar Times, 18 November, 2021

Jessica Abelsohn, “Digitally making the invisible visible”, The Jewish News, 27 October, 2021

2020

Mel O’Callaghan: Centre of the Centre, Artspace; Le Confort Moderne; UQ Art Museum with Perimeter Books

Julie Ewington, “Mel O’Callaghan: Centre of the Centre”, Australian Book Review, May 2020, no.421 p.200

Ashleigh Wilson & Dr. Edward Scheer, “Breath of experience: Mel O’Callaghan”, The Australian, March 5, p. 20-21

Anabelle Lacroix, “Mel O’Callaghan Centre of the Centre, Art Monthly Australiasia, Issue 324, Winter, p.72-75

Stephanie Bailey, editor in chief, “Mel O’Callaghan”, Ocula Magazine, May 29 2020

Dr. Edward Scheer, “Mel O’Callaghan’s Rituals for the Anthropocene”, Art Guide Australia, April 1 2019

2019

Christopher Allen, “Stillness of the Deep Soul”, The Australian, September 28 2019 p.27-28

Emma-Kate Wilson, “Mel O’Callaghan Centre of the Centre”, Art Almanac, September issue p.39-41

JT Nisay, “Understanding the Centre of the Centre”, Business Mirror, Septemeber 17

2018    
Chenel, Marie & O?Callaghan, Mel. Artpress 2: Vertiges, p. 20-21, September
 
2017   
O'Callaghan, Mel. Artist Monograph, Palais de Tokyo, Sam Art Projects : Paris

"Le Prix Meurice pour l?art contemporain dévoile ses nommés." Le Quotidien de L'art, no. 1323, p. 2, July 4
Hobermann, Mara. "Mel O'Callaghan." Artforum, May
Laporte, Arnaud. "Art plastique: Spéciale 'En toute chose' au Palais de Tokyo." La Dispute - France Culture, February
Hay, Thierry. "Notre rapport à la nature et aux objets: exposition, En toute chose, au Palais de Tokyo."FranceInfo, February 8
Vicente, Anne-Lou. "Mel O'Callaghan, transe collective au Palais de Tokyo." Troiscouleurs, February 7
Wilks, Felix. "From cave to gallery - "Mel O'Callaghans entrancing new exhibition." Happening, February 6
Gaspar, Maria Luisa. "El Palacio de Tokyo busca el arte entre el hombre y los objetos."Agencia EFE, February 3
Biétry-Rivierre, Éric & Duponchelle, Valérie. "Pais, l'art en capitale." Le Figaro, p. 26-27, January 6

De la Fresnaye, Marie. "Dangerous-on-the-way, Mel O'Callaghan au Palais de Tokyo." Artaissime, no. 15, January

 
2016   
Dagen, Philippe. "Quand l'art bat le pavé." Le Monde, April 28

Hidalgo-Laurier, Orianne. "Les rites de Mel O'Callaghan." Mouvement, January 25

Jardonnet, Emmanuelle."Cinq bonnes raisons de s'immerger dans Do Disturb." Le Monde, April 9
 
2015   
Silverio, Joao. "Memory and Resistance." Dangerous Looking Back, Galeria Belo-Galsterer, November
Cotte, Béatrice. "Soirée de remise du Prix SAM 2015 à Mel O'Callaghan." Follow Art With Us, December 17
 
2014    
Engberg, Juliana. "You are what you imagine." You Imagine What You Desire, 19th Biennale of Sydney
Ross, Annabel. "White Night: A melancholic artistic dream that lingers long." The Age, February 3
Elpnick, Nicole. The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 2014
"Mel O'Callaghan: Time to Act."Hope and Faith, p. 184-185, Encontros da Imagem, Porto
 
2013    
"Mel O'Callaghan:Ensemble." Love will Tear us Apart, p. 142-143, Encontros da Imagem: Porto
Galsterer, Alda. Natura. Paisagem e Natureza, Museum Nogueira da Silva, Braga, PT
 
2012   
Cox, Jack & Delage, Alexandra. "Les Languages Terrestres." LIVRET IV, Musée Rochechouart

Stephens, Andrew. "The Path less travelled."The Age Newspaper, p. 23, December 15
Stephens, Andrew. "Desire Lines." The Age, December 15
Edmond, Maura. "Desire Lines" Time Out, December
Nunes, Leonor. "Destaque." Journal Deletras, no. 1100, p. 28, November-December
Crespo, Nuno. "O ar do tempo." P2/Publico Lisboa, p. 8, December 23
"Miguel Branco & Mel O'Callaghan." Agenda Cultural Lisboa, November
Schneider, Anja. "The Rehearsal of Repetition." Gallery Grantpirrie, Sydney, AU

Engberg, Juliana. "Desire Lines." ACCA Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

 
2010   
Païni, Dominique. La Main Numerique, MABA Maison d'art Bernard Anthonioz, Paris
Païni, Dominique. La Main Numerique, Musee National de Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan
Glass Kantor, Alexie. Ever Tried, Ever Failed, Grantpirrie Gallery
Isabel Schneider, Anja. Mel O?Callaghan Ever Tried, Ever Failed, Grantpirrie
 
2009    
French, Blair. Event: New Moving Image Works, Artspace Sydney
French, Blair. "Event: Recalling The Cinematic." Column publication, Sydney
 
2008    
Kubler, Alison. Topsy Turvy - Mel O'Callaghan, Gallery Grantpirrie, Sydney
 
2007   
Ramade, Bénédicte. "Les Perdreaux De L'année En Liberté." L'Oeil, no. 595, October
Bailly, Bérénice. "La Fugacite Decryptee Par Cinq Jeunes Artistes." Le Monde, p. 32, April
Lequeux, Emmanuelle. Le Monde, September 29
 
2005   
Australian National Sculpture Prize & Exhibitions, catalogue
Glass Kantor, Alexie. "Mel O'Callaghan, Space Travel." Monument, April-May
Sennewald, Jens-Emil. "Mel O'Callaghan in the Galerie SchleicherLange." Kunst-Bulletin, p. 75, April
Bailly, Bérénice. "Mel O'Callaghan, Somewhere" Le Monde, p. 32, December 3
Gralton, Beatrice. National Sculpure Prize, National Gallery of Australia
Murray Cree, Laura. "Finding Nowhere." Somewhere, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
"New Vectors." 15o Internacional Electronic Arts Biennale Videobrasil
 
2002   
Glass Kantor, Alexi. "The Fly And The Mountain - Mel O'Callaghan and Nell." Monument Magazine, p.108, Issue 47
Millner, Jacqueline. The Fly And The Mountain, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery New South Wales, Australia, 2002.
Millner, Jacqueline. The Fly And The Mountain, Postwest Publication, March 2002
Low, Lenny Ann. "The Fly And The Mountain." The Sydney Morning Herald, p.11, February 2-3
Szczepaniak, Alex. "Conversation With Mel O'callaghan." Look, Art Gallery of New South Wales, February
 
2001
Hynes, Victoria. "Weird Science." The Sydney Morning Herald, p.22, June 22-28
Kidd, Courtney. "On The Cutting Edge." The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 22, June 6
 
2000
James, Bruce. "Mel - New Millenium Kinetics." The Australian Art Collector, p.140, July-September
Jackson, Mark. "Awakening To The Dream." Realtime Magazine, p.48, Aug-Sept
 
1997   
Millner, Jaqueline. "New Guard Avant Guard." Realtime Magazine, June



VIDEO PRESS

2017    "Dans l'atelier de Mel O'Callaghan", Palais de Tokyo
2013    "Interview, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art", Melbourne Australia Conversation with Alda Galsterer, Making Art Happen
2012    "Documentary of filming of Parade video work by Mel O'Callaghan in Corsica", France, STUDIO channel, SBS Australia