Outlaw Feelings
Melanie Jame Wolf

June 8, 2024, 5 – 10 pm
6 pm: Performance Burden Ballads by Melanie Jame Wolf,
MINQ and Maxi Wallenhorst // Project Space Festival

June 9 – July 21, 2024

Every Friday, from 2 - 7 pm and on request  

In the solo exhibition Outlaw Feelings by Melanie Jame Wolf, the visitors enter a scene. Its center is open, providing space for bodies to linger, move, and interact. Various sculptures give no clear indication whether the great performative moment of the scene has already passed or if, with a bit of patience, the usage inscribed in the objects will soon be observable. Yet, despite its potential for tension, the scene remains quiet.

As part of Wolf’s long-term research on the performativity of objects and materials, the artist choreographs several sculptural works as actors in a narrative about outlawed feelings and the feelings of the outlaws. In her site-specific installation, Wolf focuses on impermeable and protective materials. She sees the objects as improvised tools for navigating emotional landscapes and expectations of emotional containment by others along lines of class, gender, and race.

the burden of grace is gratitude for a gift that maims you

the burden of grief is to not be monstrous when you feel most like an animal

The title of the exhibition Outlaw Feelings is derived from the concept of "Outlaw Emotions," described by Alison M. Jaggar in her 1989 article "Love and Knowledge: Emotion in Feminist Epistemology." Jaggar explores the potential for gaining knowledge through emotions and sees in the outlaw emotions – the feelings of the socially ostracized or one’s own feelings outside a collective value system – a subversive potential to break prevailing power structures. Wolf, whose practice is grounded in linguistic sensitivity and humor, adopts the term with the wordplay "outlaw feelings!," which encompasses both a call to abolish feelings, and the feelings of the socially excluded. She focuses on this subversive power of repressed feelings – such as grief, anger, black humor, and "too loud" joy. This beast that resides within us and has been tamed in different ways depending on vectors such as class, must be controlled. But what if it starts to drool and uncontainable emotion leaks out of us at the wrong moment?

July 12, 2024, 5 – 10 pm 
6:30 pm: Performance Further Ballads of Outlaw Feelings and Artist Talk with Melanie Jame Wolf and Linnéa Meiners

Dorothea Dittrich, Rosanna Graf