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Every year YSP collaborates with Selfridges’ flagship London store to commission artworks for the Alannah Weston plinth in its Duke Street entrance. The latest project is with London-based artist Mel Brimfield, who exhibited with YSP in 2011.

Mel’s practice often riffs on popular entertainment formats spanning vaudeville and variety theatre, television, radio, comics and cartoons to explore complex cultural and social histories, responding to the specifics of site and audience with particular attention.

Visit Selfridges to experience Mel’s three Slapstick Generatorsculptures, which invade the shop floor with gleeful absurdity to stage a series of perilous object encounters for both staff and shoppers. A vast boulder hangs suspended in an industrial rope cradle apparently poised to immanently flatten the concierge desk beneath the plinth. A jelly balances on a seesaw ready to be flung at the drop of an anvil. A boot mounted on a cartwheel is about to kick a perfectly placed bottom. Eyes are drawn along a complex system of pulleys, ropes and gears set to trigger an impending chain reaction of slapstick physical actions. The jerry-rigged, improvised aesthetic belies a carefully conceived and meticulously made piece of sculpture, typical of Mel’s considered approach.

This is the latest in a series of collaborations that has previously included Holly Hendry, Marco Mieling, Matthew Darbyshire and William Darrell.

Slapstick Generator is on display at Selfridges, London, until October 2024