Melanie Teresa Bohrer grew up in Munich, Germany.
She received her MFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
and previously her BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design.
She co-owned and co-ran Candor Arts, a publishing company based in
Chicago, IL that specializes in handmade artists books. She is a co-founder
of the next iteration of the project, the Candor Collective.
She also co-runs Em Design Studio, a book centric design studio based in
My interest lies in creating artist books in the expanded field—exploring time, texture, place and pace. I like to make work exists in the in-betweens: the interstice that divides generations, the breath that separates my body from yours.
I examine ideas of national, inherited trauma, as well as how history and organized social structures shape and impact our contemporary lives. Physical objects, such as monuments or memorials, paired with ritualistic practices and religious garments that veil the human form, greatly inform my research. I wonder about their impact and presence. Do they function to remind us of our past? How could they promote collective healing? Or instead propagate false ideals?
As a multilingual, I explore ideas of translation, and turn to bookmaking in the expanded field, as well as fibers, to express the emotional implications of living between continents and customs. Both books as well as cloth haptically relate to the hands and body, and function as vessels of inherited information. They are the connective tissue between us all.
I spend a lot of time thinking about:
HOW DO WE CONNECT ACROSS IDENTITIES, LANGUAGES AND OTHER IMPOSED BOUNDARIES?
PROXEMICS OF CRISIS
MOURNING / LOSS
THE PHYSICS OF MORTALITY
THE SPACE BETWEEN
JOINING EMOTIONAL WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY