Persona March, 3rd 2022 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 354 - Mellius

mellius – 1-

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 354 – Mellius
On a cool Thursday in January I cross the IJ in Amsterdam with the ferry, and then walk to Aambeeldstraat, where Mellius’ studio is located in a large high art space overlooking the IJ.
Mellius is a writer/artist. He is working on an oeuvre of seven books and one of them is called MENDELSTOV. It’s a kind of odyssey, a quest that begins in Siberia and ends in Britannia, starring Oxzana, a courageous fighter for freedom, both the freedom of the world and the freedom within. Mellius gave me the thick book and I’ve been reading it lately. An engaging and compelling book. It could make a nice movie.

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Emblems of black suns
Mellius gave me a tour. I saw an ice motor on sharp spikes, behind it paintings with circles, lines and triangles, in front of me a vast altar with the image of a young blond lady above it, on the altar all kinds of objects, in the middle of the hall from left to right an approximately eighty meters long shard path with a thin stream of water along it. Two army cars painted brown-grey with emblems of black suns on them. On the right a podium with a sword cross. To the left a huge red tent, called ‘The Womb’, with several repaired tent pieces on the ceiling and walls, sometimes pale red, sometimes dark red, and bulges. In The Womb, seven huge paintings with hieroglyph-like characters stood in a circle.

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Mendelstov plays many centuries after now. There is hardly any technology, and the world population has been decimated. Industry hardly exists anymore: only the oppressors in the story benefit from achievements that were self-evident long ago. There is ‘shy plague’, a scourge, a kind of COVID-19, but many degrees worse. It is a disease of stiffness and rigidity. Organs, joints, eventually the whole body is subject to a process of calcification and ossification. Ultimately, the infected die of calcified alveoli.

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The country is dominated by a sectarian society: the Azorites. At the time of ‘Mendelstov’, the movement is led by a despot who possesses occult powers. He has written the sinister book ‘Mir’, which justifies and explains the actions, goals and politics of the movement. The book with the Black Sun on the cover plays a central role in the Order.
Dressed up as a boy
Oxzana Mendelstova travels into the world from the last place that is still free of the scourge, her village in Siberia. Dressed as a boy, in a rattling truck with four horses, she embarks on an epic quest. Her search for a cure for the horrific allergen is nothing short of a battle between good and evil. But her own motives and urges, Oxzana discovers, are not all pure and unambiguous.

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Wheel game
There are ice racing on motorbikes and there is the wheel game. In several cities, Ozxana plays the Wheel Game, a kind of polo with friends she meets along the way. During those games, addictive music plays, Zyderov. Oxzana appears to be able to sing compellingly. There is constant threat and danger. The Azorites are frantically looking for unenslaved people and they do not hesitate to brutally kill people. On several occasions, Oxzana escapes precarious situations with more luck than wisdom.

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Sound seals
Amulets, alchemical principles and elements from Hermetic philosophy are discussed. Sound seals, ancient effigies, circular figures with curious characters in them, can be opened and activated by a chanted litany. They have a beneficial effect on body and mind and keep the scourge at bay. At a few moments Oxzana and her companions escape because she manages to open such a sound seal while singing crystal clear.

mellius – 9-

A tour through the artspace
While reading the book it was all recognition. What’s it all about? Mellius: “The adage of your site, ‘If then is now’, also applies to the book MENDELSTOV. It’s a time shift. It takes place in the future. One day Oxzana comes to see how the hell it is possible that a book has been written about a life where she has yet to be born. This theme is depicted in Oxzana’s Journey, an immersive tour through the artspace.”

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Metaphor for intolerance
The scourge, the plague, is a metaphor for the ever-expanding intolerance, says Mellius. “I suspect that the Shy Plague is also a residue from my own life. From the period when I had not yet fully opted for being an artist. The time when I couldn’t find my way, didn’t know what I really wanted. I experienced an oppression, an anti-freedom. I resisted that, a struggle that still haunts me.”

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In his art space, Mellius wants to give sparkling journeys. “Journeys with compelling music, epic images, overwhelming smells, with performances and storytelling. Oxzana’s Journey in the studio is a Gesamtkunstwerk. Something is added regularly: new artworks, new installations, new music. I then show, let hear and feel that.”
The book Mendelstov, is the first part of a seven-part series, a ‘heptalogy’. Three subsequent volumes have already been written, but will not be published for a few years. Mellius is currently working on part 4.

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Finally, Mellius: “Note, register, organize, archive and put together a coherent account. That’s what I do. I use pen and paper for that, brushes, paint and linen, emulsion, bronze, silver, textiles, and so on. It’s all story telling. We humans have been thirsty for stories as long as we have existed.
Apparently I have been appointed as a chronicler, clerk and clerk all at once, working diligently, sometimes like a slave behind a desk of a cosmic office.”
See also the following vimeo:
1) photo Dick Berg, 2) photo Alex Zamora, 3) Mellius atelier, photo Michalis Maroulakis, 4) photo Lars Berg, 5 – 7) photo Alex Zamora, 8) photo Michalis Maroulakis, 9) Mendelstov cover, 10) Oxzana logo

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