the boy who followed mele

galerie mark müller // zürich // 2023

Fragmented across international borders, Martín Mele manages to travel lighter and lighter each time. When you have been moving for so long, you start to feel there is no place to come back to, no home. When home is nowhere to be found, you have to learn how to be your own home, your own family, your own friend. Like lonely kids who seek company in imaginary friends, Mele seeks company in impersonation: in his world, characters that once existed only as an idea can come to life in such human-like forms it's mesmerising. A mask, a moustache, a pair of shoes, or a different suit usually mean he's found a new friend to keep him company.
Mele can meet his favourite writer for pizza, have a cigar with the most terrifying monster or have a siesta with a Roman emperor before you even notice what he's devising. Mele builds a whole cast of larger-than-life characters with a signed destiny, the destiny of coming together in the character that is himself: the elegant, rangy, big nosed man and the foreign little boy that follows Mele on his adventures. The boy, the man and the artist all operate as a guide and a mirror, leading the viewers on a journey through his world while allowing themselves to see their own worlds reflected in it.

Carolina Alvariño