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.
This life-size portrait of a girl is a fine example of the British art of portrait painting in the early 18th century. The child is shown posing on a terrace, which is enclosed at the right foreground by the plinth of a pillar; the background is mainly filled with trees and shrubs.
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