Mellon Charles present
January King

Live performance & installation, Sonica 2022

January King, an audio-visual installation and performance work by the Scottish collective Mellon Charles, uses music, theatricality and a kaleidoscope of ritualistic, psychedelic and natural motifs to explore questions around land ownership, the natural environment, Scottish history and its possible destiny.

 

The exhibition invites the viewer to inhabit a vision of Scotland where future ecologies, present technologies and historic rituals overlap and interact. Mellon Charles have navigated country and archive to make and find field recordings and local customs: here they present their findings in an ark-like space looking out on luridly coloured landscapes, where sheep-like beings make music that fuses the folkloric, the analogue and the futuristic.

 

Here the Hebridean becomes the Balearic, as the group situate the work in a musical and social context that speaks to contemporary ecological thought while referencing subversive and reactionary movements such as the Free Party, Balearic and Acid House movements of the 80s and 90s. Throughout, the soundscape is paired with a visual backdrop that intermingles motifs from crofting life, future tourism and the natural psychedelia of Scottish flora and fauna to create an improbable and speculative space, rich for exploration.