Braced under the heating sun


Melissa Ryke

Curator: Mikail Koçak

2195 Rue Chéravoie

Melissa Ryke is an Australian artist currently based in Brussels. She studied Fine Arts in both Australia and France and has recently completed the European Postgraduate in Art in Sound at KASK, Ghent. Ryke’s practice-led research focuses on a critical and playful investigation of the quotidian and experimentation with installation and time based media.

Braced under the heating sun is centred around listening to and documenting her childhood home in Queensland Australia. The recordings were taken during a three-week stay in February-March 2020, between the waning Black Summer bushfires and the cusp of the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by the open architecture of the wooden house, where nature (a wild exterior) pushes against and blurs into the home (an organised interior), the audiovisual installation includes five chapters that focus on: the cracking of the house adjusting to the sun heating the roof, the subtly changing cicada songs from dusk to dawn, the path being taken to mow the lawn, the texture of voices (human and other), and rain.

Ryke focused on these particular moments because they offered a way to reflect on ideas of porosity, natural polyrhythms, non-hierarchical listening and recording strategies, ecology, and everyday rhythms and cycles that happen in contingency with the world rather than being isolated from it. In this work, Ryke explores how the porosity of architecture offered moments where boundaries broke and the lives of different beings crossed, where there was a constant push and pull between the ‘other’ and the ‘human’. In this house the rhythms and cycles of the living and the immediate needs of every living being are highlighted and played out. “[I]t is where intensities proliferate themselves, where forces are expressed for their own sake, where sensation lives and experiments, where the future is affectively and perceptually anticipated” (Elizabeth Grosz, 2008).


Melissa Ryke