Melissa Laing

Melissa Laing – Biography

Melissa Laing is an artist, theorist and curator based in West Auckland, New Zealand.

As an artist she works across the media of film and performance, conceptual writing, print and sculpture. She has exhibited widely overseas including at Performance Space in Sydney, Mercer Union in Toronto, Canada, Kulturzentrum Schlachthof in Bremen, Germany, the Museu de Arte Contemporãnea do Ceará in Fortaleza Ceará, Brazil. In New Zealand she has created projects for the Auckland Fringe Festival, Blue Oyster in Dunedin, Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington, The Physics Room in Christchurch, as well as Rm, Te Tuhi and Te Uru in Auckland. 

Her practice is situated at the intersections of visual language, critical theory, social history and politics. Previous works have focused on the construction of insecurity through the lens of immigration and aviation.

More recently she has focussed on the structures that shape how knowledge is gained and shared. Through artworks, essays and conversation groups she has engaged with the ideologies of intellectual property, practises of education, and the role of science in New Zealand.

Melissa is the lead researcher for the Performance Ethics Working Group, an initiative of the University Without Conditions. She is the director of the Urban Walking Festival and in 2019 and 2020 co-curated a 15 month artist walk series in partnership with Te Uru. She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and her writing has been published in magazines, academic journals, and exhibition and artist catalogues.

Her current work focuses on our relationship to the Waitematā harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.