Mel Keiser: The Life and Deaths of The Mels--Here Lie the Bones

Opening: Friday, May 19, 2023 6 – 8 pm
Friday, May 19 – Jul 9, 2023

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610

In her work, multidisciplinary artist Mel Keiser claims that she has been several different “mels” since she was born. During her life, there have been (and will continue to be) discrete moments of self-change. However, in her work this is not just a state of identity flux; no, Keiser looks at these moments of change as the birth of a new mel and the death of the old. 

In her ongoing project, The Life and Deaths of The Mels, Mel grieves for her deceased past selves. Borrowing from traditional funeral rituals, Keiser processes the grief—and sometimes relief—of burying past versions of herself. 

We invite you to explore Mel’s work installed at IMSS from May 20 to July 9 in three places: the first-floor Welcome Room (1F), the fourth-floor Temporary Gallery (4C), and outside in the museum’s parkway. While you may come to see how Mel died and what it was like, you may leave asking yourself how many times you, yourself, have died. And how many times you’ve been born anew.