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.
He had imagined the court room as a big place. It wasn’t. It was about the size of his living room, with an elevation at one end, with a dais on it. The judges and the attorneys sat there. Below it was an old wooden rail, worn out in some places. That was his place. There was another seat for his lawyer. At the back, about 20 or 30 chairs were stowed out for the non-existent crowd.
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