(c) Melanie Willhide “T and V, Mesa Elks, 2008”, 2011
So the story goes something like this: A man named Adrian Rodriguez breaks into Willhide’s apartment, steals stuff, police recover stuff including Willhide’s wiped-clean computer, Willhide tries to recover her work only to find a lot of corrupted files.
(c) Melanie Willhide “Untitled (the Steve McQueen house)”, 2011
I don’t know if a lot of crying ensued (it would have if it were me), but we do know that Melanie Willhide found an awesome visual vocabulary. She used this new-found aesthetic to create her series To Adrian Rodriguez, with Love, a mixture of the corrupted jpegs and new work she made to pursue this new theme.
I love the series. I’d love to know which are the original “collaborations” and which are the new work, but I think not knowing is part of the charm.
(c) Melanie Willhide, “Larry’s Lips”, 2011
They remind in a weird way of Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth’s The Five Obstructions, which explores how creative a film maker — Leth — can be within the confines of absurd limitations — set by Von Trier (this analogy works really well in my head, too, because it equates von Trier with a burglar and I’m cool with that). There’s something to be said for working within set bounds, I think, and Willhide deserves credit as an artist overcoming such an unfortunate obstruction.