Bjørn Melhus


12.10.2010 -

Tents gather under a free-standing projection board to form a night camp. In the temporary dwellings, glaring light reflections flicker in unison, which seem to be in dialogue with the images of a collective, media consciousness shown on the board.

While the film images remain silent, the light inside the tents follows fictional sound quotations from the respiratory organs between tension, pain and pleasure. The night watch occurs on the threshold of states of consciousness of control and loss of control, the interplay of guarding and being guarded and the hallucinatory state of insomnia.

Entertainment or calamity, fiction or reality, in the end the bland aftertaste of situations that are not unknown to us, where the boundaries become obscure and the helm runs out of hand, where we no longer understand the rules and are only absorbed, doomed to smile in embarrassment. Bjørn Melhus' more recent installations go beyond the media and intervene in real space. Starting from a 40 m long barrel-vaulted exhibition room in Magdeburg, a large-format media installation will be created. The exhibition space becomes a social space that will integrate the viewer.

Few artists have analysed the psychology of our television and media age as deeply in their work, the idea of constant role transformations as Bjørn Melhus. Few understand how to derive the symptoms of this present from oneself as an actor and person affected in such a subjective and bizarre way as is generally applicable.



Bjørn Melhus. Nachtwache / Nightwatch
Edited by Annegret Laabs und Uwe Gellner, 2010
Texts germ./engl.: Annegret Laabs, Uwe Gellner
80 p., numerous illustrations and a DVD, Hardcover
The DVD contains the following videos by Bjørn Melhus: Sometimes (2002), Still men out there (2003), Emotion Field # 1 (2007), Treehouse # 2 (2008-2010), Murphy (documentary, 2009), Nachtwache / Nightwatch (2010)
Nürnberg, Verlag für moderne Kunst
ISBN 978-3-86984-184-7
28.00 Euro