Ira Melkonyan - Upstairs Geology V

Making art is an attempt to understand the world. Understanding is an insatiable longing for the spiritual; an aesthetic acceptance of the beautiful on an emotional or even supra-emotional level. 
Andrey Tarkovsky - 'Sculpting in Time'

My reclaimed word for the 21st century is Liquid- specifically starting from thinking about my own life and attitude to fixity, and developing an ongoing artistic research around fluid substances- with thickened and coloured water, with gravity, ropes, pumps, sunlight, snow, rain and sometimes people. My second reclaimed word for the current times is Angel- specifically in relation to constant movement and change inherent in life. Michel Serres’s understanding of angels as messengers had a profound effect on this work. The performance is a result of me putting these two, at first sight, unconnected categories of knowledge together and insisting on their resonance. 

UPG, as I abbreviate the title, started as an installation in a white box, and each consequent outcome met the world under this same title. Up till now it has been a six-hour performance installation in an abandoned building, a 20-min theatre piece in a dance studio, a visual artwork consisting of video and dripping objects, and the current outcome - a one-hour theatre performance with leaking human and non-human bodies.

I remember reading a description by a Soviet filmmaker of the collective of people he creates his films with as the audience and simultaneously as the mechanism that produces with shared consciousness. Recently I started considering how my materials, my books, events of my life are also working-thinking-creating with me. So if this thought allows me to imagine audience and creators as interchangeable, and if it is not only humans that are part of my process, then the audience is also not only human beings but also objects, flows of air, gusts of winds coming through the open windows – they perform and they watch.

Dates & tickets

30 May 2018 | 19:30 - 23:00 /// buy ticket €5,- /// Ira Melkonyan, Erin Hill, installations by Catarina Vieira and Clara Garcia Fraile

1 June 2018 | 20:00 - 23:00 /// buy ticket €7,50* /// Biljana Radinoska, Ira Melkonyan, Vincent Riebeek, installations by Catarina Vieira and Clara Garcia Fraile /// *includes our traditional serving of soup & bread

Location: DAS Graduate School


Created with Jimmy Grima, Zsofie Paczolay, Dominykas Savickas, Maria Mavridou, Magda Ptasznik, Alondra Castellanos Arreola

And thanks to Rebecca Camilleri, Irene Sorozabal Moreno, Nina Virant, Marina Provenzzano, Sean Decelis, Ruth Borg, Thijs Bouwman, Maria Roessler, Tchelet Weisstub (advisor), Joachim Robbrecht (tutor). 


Ira often uses domestic chemicals and DIY materials to construct her improvised laboratory set-ups, scenographic and performative experiments. She is curious about harmony and metaphysics, while construction of knowledge similarly remains to be her interest.

Ira was one of the founding members of the rubberbodies collective (2009) in Malta, where together with a group of people she was an author of visual theatre performances, installations, interventions and publications.

In 2010 Ira was awarded a degree in Microbiology and Virology.

Ira Melkonyan is from Odessa, Ukraine.