Tricyclic Transform at Translucent, part of Fringe! Queer Film Fest

I will be performing a 30 minute excerpt from ‘Tricyclic Transform, a genderqueer musical Cabaret’ at Translucent, part of Fringe! Queer Film Fest. Translucent is featured event of the month in Cuntemporary Queer and feminist art newsletter!

Friday 16 November 2018 7-10pm

Leyden Gallery
9 Leyden Street
E1 7LE London

Translucent is an artist-led immersive evening of performances in an intimate space. For the first episode we are providing platform to trans*, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists who make work that begins with the experience of a non-normative gender identity and expands to themes of love, desire, intimacy, social norms, the more-than-human-environment, physical and mental boundaries, ways of living, survival, rituals, healing and transformation.

Translucent event on Fringe! website
Translucent event on Facebook

Tricyclic Transform screened in Athens, 5-11 November

Tricyclic Transform screened in Athens, 5-11 November 2018, part of Video Art Miden lecture and video art screenings at the 1st BCK Film Symposium.

Download PDf program.

Screenings at Meme gallery::Monday, November 5 – Sunday, November 11, 18.00-22.00
Program: Flow along surface | Curated by Nikos Podias | Duration: 50min

This unity-commentary about the glamorous and mysterious elite world of fashion, was created in order to highlight and deify beauty, indicate the necessity of humans to be socially accepted, the autosarcasm one may express through dressing, along with the freedom of self-expression. In addition does not stay indifferent, neither neglects to emphasize on the playful dress changes which contribute to a complete metamorphosis of a person. Last but not least, shows a great respect to human efforts for a prolonged youth.

Khalil Charif, Celebrity, Brazil 2017, 1.53
ELAWIATR, ‘The Sculpture that comes out from the Museum of Art’ Royal Palace, Milan, Italy 2014, 1.55
Leandro Estrella, Assisted_Self-Portrait, Italy 2014, 1.30
Paul Taylor, #selfiesuit_departure V2, USA 2017, 6.00
Davide Canali, Different pulses, Italy 2018, 2.57
Martina Menegon, It Suits Me Well, Austria 2016, 1.02
Ramia Beladel, Life’s but a walking shadow, Morocco 2014, 2.01
Tania Bohuslavska, Clothes or against the objectification, Ukraine 2016, 1.45
Khalil Charif, Cannot, Brazil 2015, 0.42
Nicolás M. Pintos, Coiffeur, Argentina 2016, 2.49
Ruy Cézar Campos, Entangled Landing Points, Brazil 2017, 9.05
Marcia Beatriz Granero, Lacuna, Brazil 2017, 9.00
Melanie Menard, Tricyclic Transform, UK 2015, 4.57

Tricyclic Transform at Brighton Pride 2018, supported by Brighton Pride Cultural Development Fund

Tricyclic Transform – A Genderqueer Musical Cabaret
Supported by Brighton Pride Cultural Development Fund

Sunday August 5th, 8pm
Rialto Theatre
11 Dyke Road
Brighton, BN1 3FE


‘Tricyclic Transform’ premiered at Brighton Fringe 2017 with support from New Steine Hotel, toured to Paris Dreams Before Dawn festival and Berlin Transnational Queer Underground and now received a Cultural Development Grant from Brighton Pride to be staged at the Rialto theatre as part of the official Pride Arts Festival. £1 per ticket donated to the Rainbow Fund.

Join Miss Liliane, Queen of Camp Noir, and Sebastian Marmite, the bedsit aesthete, round the gender wheel as they try to negotiate restrictive gender-roles by performing symbolic rituals and re-enacting iconic songs, trying on gender identities as they try on clothes and pitches.
From heart-wrenching jazz diva standards to the pissed-off ladies of gritty blues and Brecht, from the broken men protest songs of Johnny Cash, Scott Walker and Jacques Brel, to the gender-fuck anthems of Marc Almond and Boy George, with sprinkles of ‘Victor Victoria’ and ‘La Cage aux Folles’, ‘Tricyclic Transform’ mixes popular alt-drag cabaret, dark cabaret singing and live-art aesthetics to unearth ‘gender archetypes’ hidden in popular songs. Judith Butler takes on RuRaul Drag Race!

Interview with Leeds Digital Festival!

‘Tricyclic Transform’ was screened at Leeds Digital Festival, and they interviewed me on their website. I copied the unedited interview questions below.

If you could start telling me a bit about yourself (briefly), so I can get a general impression. (What do you do, where are you from,etc.)

I’m originally from Rouen, France but have lived in the UK since 2005, and Brighton since 2012. I’ve worked in photography, video and digital since 2007 and branched into performance last year. I show work in exhibitions, galleries, film festivals, clubs as well as traditional performance venues.

What is your inspiration for a new project? What inspired you to start with art in general?

As a child, I spent all my time reading, drawing and making paper cut-out characters from my favourite books and staging plays with them. But being from a lower middle class background, I sort of self-selected out of studying art as a teenager and opted for the ‘financially safe’ option of software engineering. I remained passionate about Art though, and slowly grew the guts of making art, first as a self taught artist, until I studied for a MA at Camberwell College of Art in 2009-2011 via part time distance learning, while keeping my commercial software job.
I’m an intuitive and visual thinker, so Art is very much ‘practical philosophy’ for me: I will work on a project to make sense of social, political or philosophical issues that obsess me, where more literary-minded people would write about the subject.

What do you want to express with your artwork?

My work explores the tensions between the individual and the place and circumstances they inhabit, and the human mind in conflict with itself. In visual media, I design an aesthetic representing an individual’s thought processes, using a precisely crafted audio-visual mood and rhythm to trap the audience into their subjective experience. In performance, I mix popular alt-drag cabaret, ‘dark cabaret’ singing and live-art aesthetics to question gender identities, and portray individuals fighting restrictive social norms. I aim to gently coax the viewer into questioning norms and assumptions they may feel more comfortable ignoring, without presenting ready made answers, leaving a degree of ambiguity and interpretation.

What do you think about the transgender conflict in our society?

I believe that each individual’s perception of their gender identity and relationship with their body is unique, that nobody else has any right to pry into it and coerce them, and that nothing progressive ever comes in the long term from attempting to impose artificial simplifications over the endless complexity and fluidity of the human experience. So human beings need to resist pressures to ‘fit into narrow predefined roles’ that wreck their mental health, whether they come from mainstream society or more insidiously from within ‘alternative’ communities. That another individual’s experience differs from yours does not invalidate your own experience in any way, it’s just another one amongst endless natural variations. As Audrey Lorde said: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Talking about your artwork “Tricyclic Transform”. Can you give me some more information about your piece? What was the inspiration for it?

I’m interested in social control and repression, both the overt and violent kind, but also the subtle, more insidious cultural or peer pressure that an individual may end up internalizing. Being genderqueer, I experience a degree of detachment and critical distance from both feminine and masculine gender norms, and I leverage it to portray the psychological consequences of rigid, enforced gender roles on individuals, something that both trans* and cis people can relate to. Tricyclic Transform follows the inner journey of a person, who ‘thrust into being’ and presented with gender archetypes from popular culture, mimics them to ‘try them on’, only to discover none quite fit the complexity of their thoughts and experience. Their psychological journey is cyclical, though a gender spectrum of female, androgynous, male, with no fixed resolution.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would it be?

I don’t make art full-time, I have a commercial software job at the side. It’s important for me to be upfront about it because it’s so difficult to make a living solely from your art, and very few artists actually do, that if you maintain an ‘artistic blur’ about how you pay your bills, possibly for ‘personal branding’ reasons, then you contribute to the vicious circle of aspiring artists who can’t rely on family money or financial support from a partner possibly giving up because they believe they can’t make it work. I know dedicated creative people who do all kinds of commercial work at the side to support themselves and their practice.

Are there any projects planned in the future?

I’m working on a digital video installation simulating the collective creation of a shared queer identity through the assemblage and reinterpretation of fragments of a hidden history. Videos sequences document places associated with queer artists and thinkers, relating the former inhabitants’ experience of space, place and identity to the experience of contemporary queer people who drew inspiration from them. It requires coding as well as video-art, so of direct relevance to a Digital Festival!

Tricyclic Transform full show at ACTS RE-ACTS 5 Wimbledon College of Arts: Performance Laboratory

Wimbledon College of Arts: Performance Laboratory
Friday 2 March, 2 – 9pm

Tricyclic Transform Full cabaret show at 18:40 in the theatre.

Event: Melanie Menard, Tricyclic Transform (70m)
Melanie Menard presents Tricyclic Transform, a solo musical cabaret exploring genderqueer identity with songs and drag. Join Miss Liliane, ‘biologically-challenged drag-queen’, round the gender wheel as they try to negotiate restrictive gender-roles by performing symbolic rituals and re-enacting iconic songs, trying on identities as they try on clothes and pitches.
Tricyclic Transform goes beyond the ‘private confessional’ nature of many queer solo performance, using ‘Lynchian’ cabaret and German Expressionism aesthetics to explore the alienation of enforced gender roles on individuals from a full spectrum of psychological perspectives.
20 songs span several genres (Torch songs, jazz, musicals, gospel, European Cabaret/Chanson, ‘storytelling’ songs by Johnny Cash, Scott Walker), united by a dramatic delivery and focused on archetypes: sacrificial femininity, Lilith (Predatory Femininity), Androgyne, Dionysos (Broken Man). The theatrical presentation mixes popular alt-drag cabaret with live-art aesthetics including on-stage costume change, breast binding and destroying make-up. Judith Butler takes on RuPaul’s Drag Race!

Refreshments available during the cabaret.

Tricyclic Transform @ Modern Panic, 21/10/17

I’ll be performing a short 20 minutes version of Tricyclic Transform as part of Panic Sermons Act II : A collection of riotous acts by ground breaking live art practitioners. I have the feeling I’ll be the lil’ Drag Sissy and old fashioned tea-sipping torch singer having a mild neurotic attack among all the big bad body-artists 😀

Part of Modern Panic by Guerilla Zoo
Participating Live Artists
Saturday 21 October, 19:00–23:00
Apiary Studios
458 Hackney Road, E2 9EG London, United Kingdom
Facebook Event
Tickets £12

Tricyclic Transform – A Genderqueer Musical Cabaret – Trailer from Melanie Menard on Vimeo.

Tricyclic Transform at Transnational Queer Underground, Tallinn, Estonia

Tricyclic Transform continues its roll of touring with the ‘physical exhibition’ #TheGalleryProject of online project Transnational Queer Underground. The first exhibition was hosted in Tallinn, Estonia, and TQU are looking for host museums/galleries in various countries to host the project. Please contact them if your organisation can help!

TQU made a really swanky pdf catalogue of all the work. Download it for free!

Some pictures of my work in context:

And a local visitor to the show! I love wild birds and wish I could travel to Tallinn if such beautiful creatures dwell there 🙂

Tricyclic Transform at #SheFest2017 Sheffield

Tricyclic Transform photos and video shown at 35 Chapel Walk, Sheffield for their International Women’s day feminist show #SheFest2017

Exhibition 2-15 March 2017.

Film screening, Saturday March 11th, 6-8pm.

SheFest 2017 in collaboration with 35 Chapel Walk presents ‘In Plain Sight’, an exhibition to challenge, persist and celebrate. SheFest is a flagship celebration as part of International Women’s Day, promoting gender equality and developing supportive networks for self-defining women.

It is important to celebrate the empowerment of women and the steps that we are making with progressive feminism. However, it is also essential that we highlight and challenge the problems that women all over the world still face every day as a result of patriarchy and misogyny. ‘In Plain Sight’ brings together a diverse variety of national and international artists to make a stand against restrictive, destructive and anti-progressive societal “norms” and pressures applied by androcentric values and politics.

Virginia Woolf once famously said; “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman”. Well no more. ‘In Plain Sight’ captures the current unrest amongst women today and encourages persistence in the face of ever challenging patriarchal adversities.

Patriarchy: A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
Misogyny: Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
Androcentric : Something that is focused or centred on men.