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Melissa Gordon

The value of gesture
17.07.2017 – 05.08.2017

  • Material Evidence (Wall Pan), 2016, The Gesture is a Joke, installation view, Deweer Gallery, Otegem, Courtesy Melissa Gordon and Deweer Gallery, photo: Dries Verstraete
    Material Evidence (Table), installation view Painting Behind Itself, 2016, acrylic on linen, wallpaper of rubbing of studio wall Courtesy the artist and Cosar HMT, Düsseldorf (DE)
    Medium/Media: Painting and theory
    Location: Festung Hohensalzburg

    Language: English (primary) and German
    What to bring: Notebook/laptop (for writing), readings (e-mailed to you ahead of time), camera (or camera phone). Further necessary tools and materials will be specified along with your confirmation of acceptance, and can be purchased at the Academy shop.
    Requirements: None
    Maximum number of participants: 20
    Co-teacher: Ines Hochgerner
    Participation fee: € 950.- (€ 710.-)


    This course will explore the value of gestures in painting, using experimental techniques of making and exhibiting our work. How is the value of a gesture in painting determined? Are we making a gesture when we decide on the form, context and idea of a work as much as mark-making?


    Over the three weeks we will look at historic and contemporary uses of gesture in painting and discuss the role of authorship in contemporary art, looking at writers such as Isabelle Graw, Giorgio Agamben and Marina Vishmidt. Working with home-made tools, found objects, silkscreen, our bodies, and spaces around us, we will make “gestures” in space with materials, and then evaluate how the transformation and representation of these into an exhibition format informs or changes and “performatises”‚ our actions. We will deal with the way in which one object touches another to create a mark, and will work in paint, silkscreen, performance, and a variety of media to explore new ways of creating gestures.


    We will discuss our work in both individual and group critiques, as well as making a number of excursions together. We will work together towards an experimental presentation of the work, including a longer-term project of making a magazine publication together.