Name: Dorothy Melander-Dayton
Born: Santa Fe, NM
Lives and works: Santa Fe, NM
Dorothy Melander-Dayton is an interdisciplinary artist working at the nexus of performance, theater, and installation, as well as works on paper and sculpture. The artist’s process is grounded in research into various subjects which span artistic influences, texts, material research, and experimentation. She then executes her discoveries through whatever media is best suited to the project at hand. Frequently site-specific, her work is often informed by place and responsive to her audiences.
Her most recent performance piece, Yokomeshi: A Meal Eaten Sideways, which premiered at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe in November 2018, was developed while in residence at the 3331 Arts Chiyoda residence program in Tokyo, Japan, researching the appeal of miniatures and the phenomena of mini foods in Japan. Yokomeshi, a Japanese phrase describing the peculiar stress of speaking a foreign language or eating a meal while speaking a foreign language, explores cultural exchange and consumerism. From the artist’s statement: “Presenting a miniature world on a tabletop to be controlled and manipulated by the god-like hands of the performer, Yokomeshi takes the audience on a journey of discovery from the perspective of the foreigner, confronting and interrogating the role of the artist in a globalized world.”
Melander-Dayton was born and raised in Santa Fe and now calls Santa Fe her home base while traveling and working internationally at various residencies and jobs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Performance Design and Practice from Central Saint Martins University of the Arts in London. While living and studying in London, she began a career as a freelance theater designer. She became a company member of A Host of People, a Detroit theater company in 2017.