No Sunshine, 1997,
5 min, colour, sound
Courtesy of the artist and of Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt
Bjørn Melhus makes short films that are conceived as fairy stories, featuring himself. In No Sunshine, a video influenced by the aesthetic of the music video and by advertising, four identical-looking characters communicate in pairs through snatches of pop songs and occasionally look straight at the camera as though questioning or flirting with the spectator. Strange, childish-looking bodies seem to float in a virtual space which is at the same time their own inner world. Red is the dominant colour in this electronically created virtual world in which the characters have artificial hair – like Playmobil figures – and tight clothes, bringing to mind the human clones of science-fiction television series. The characters seem to be sexually neuter but among them we can sense looks, caresses and timidly seductive attitudes that speak of repressed desires.
Men were the first nudes in Turkish painting. The majority of these paintings were academic studies executed in oil paint; they were part of the education of artists that had finally attained the opportunity to work from the live model. The gender of the models constituted an obstacle in the way of characterizing these paintings as ‘nudes’.
Among the most interesting themes in the oeuvre of Prassinos are cypresses, trees, and Turkish landscapes. The cypress woods in Üsküdar he saw every time he stepped out on the terrace of their house in İstanbul or the trees in Petits Champs must have been strong images of childhood for Prassinos.
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