a rendition of stifled ghost-spells

melissandre varin

10 August 2023, 4-8pm

melissandre varin performs in Vivid Projects + Ikon, a performance art laboratory (10-13 August 2023). For four hours, the artist braids black synthetic hair whilst using molasses as a tool to interact with and transform the space around them. This performance draws on the tools gained through participation in Melati Suryodarmo’s performance art laboratory, Present to Presence, at Ikon in May 2023.


In a rendition of stifled ghost-spells, melissandre plays with the (im)possibility to conjure and exorcise intergenerational trauma with small gestures. Approaching the moment as an ana-choreography composed with crumbling building blocks. The performance might emerge as an over-scripted improvisation of Blackness.“I am feeling very moved to have been invited into what feels like a historic moment for Birmingham and myself included. I am assembling a durational performance invoking braiding as a transmutation tool, small gestures forming everyday rituals, and trans-formation with and of (gallery) space.” melissandre varin

Through performance arts, moving image assemblages and site-specific installations, among other things, melissandre varin investigates love, intimacy and tenderness. Making from an Afro and Caribbean diasporic context, melissandre varin adds layers of complexity using a situated Black feminism.

Vivid Projects + Ikon is a programme of free performances curated by Vivid Projects and presented as part of Passionate Pilgrim, Melati Suryodarmo’s first UK solo exhibition.

a rendition of stifled ghost-spells is a live durational performance and takes place from 4-8pm, Events Room, First Floor at Ikon. More information here

melissandre varin: Who's gonna clean the mess of/in your garden?Photo: Ayesha Jones