Melanie Smith was born in Poole, England, in 1965. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Reading. Since 1989 she has lived and worked in Mexico City, an experience that has enormously influenced her works ever since. Her work has been characterized by a certain re-reading of the formal and aesthetic categories of avant-gardes and post-avant-garde movements, problematized at the sites and within the horizons of heterotopias. Her production is intimately related to a certain expanded vision of the notion of modernity, maintaining a relationship both with what this means in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, and with the implication this has for her formal explorations as a critical moment in the aesthetic-political structure of modernity and late modernity.
Her production has been defined by a certain rereading of the formal and aesthetic categories of avant-garde movements and the post-avant-garde, problematized at the site and within the horizon of heterotopias. Her current work is linked to a critical vision of modernity and late modernity in Latin America: the relationships between precariousness, life, and the forms of violence that characterize contemporary industrial society. In earlier pieces, she has worked on the aesthetic and political implications of multitudes, violence, and aberrant forms on the outskirts of contemporaneity. This is evident in such videos as Estadio Azteca – Proeza maleable, Xilitla (2010), Bulto (2011), and Elevator (2012).
Her work has been exhibited in numerous national and international institution, including: PS1, New York; MOMA, New York; UCLA´S, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; ICA, Boston; Tate Liverpool; Tate Modern, London; South London Gallery, London; CAMH, Houston; Milton Keynes; CCA, Vilnius; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Róterdam; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo Tamayo, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo and Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; and Museo de Monterrey. In 2011 she represented Mexico at its national pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale.