Bjorn Melhus

Reception Wednesday, September 15, 6-9 PM
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10-6 PM
September 16 – October 16, 2004

Roebling Hall is extremely pleased to inaugurate its new Chelsea space with the first American showing of Primetime, a massive video installation by the German-Norwegian artist Bjorn Melhus.

Composed of twenty-nine wall-mounted monitors, a pillar of another five large monitors and a large projection, Primetime floods the gallery with a rapid assault of images, washes of color and a barrage of audio snippets. Drawing from the Jerry Springer Show, the consummate daytime television talk show, Melhus weaves together a mix of sound bites and audio clips appropriated from Springer and others with a number of characters, all portrayed by the artist himself. His layering of bizarre, unsettling and humorous dialogue and imagery avoids any definite narrative, yet builds in suspense and density until the climatic and tragic demise of the weirdly magnetic character of Melhus as an androgynous hula dancer with an oversized bobble head.

The enigmatic spectacle of Primetime draws one into a shocking realm that vacillates between attraction and repulsion. The rhythmic cuts and visual fireworks fascinate, while the startling shouts of phrases like “I’m having sex with my father!” create a tension that draws the viewer into uncomfortable territory. With a dark sense of humor, Melhus exposes a raw, television-overloaded, schizophrenic contemporary collective unconscious.

Melhus’ work has been recently featured in The American Effect at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Istanbul Biennial. He also recently had a large-scale solo exhibition at FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool.

Bjorn Melhus has exhibited his work in, among other venues, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Serpentine Gallery London, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Sprengel Museum Hanover, and The Goethe-Institute New York.

Roebling Hall 390 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn 11211
Paul Campbell September 24 – October 18, 2004

Satellite® 94 Prince Street, New York 10012
Moises Saman through September 25, 2004








For Immediate Release

Reception Wednesday September 24th, 6-9 PM
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12-6 PM
September 24th – October 25th

Satellite® is pleased to present “Weeping,” a powerful and incantatory two-channel video installation by Bjorn Melhus. Working with multiple levels of sound, language and image derived from preexisting acoustic material, Melhus assembles images and spoken text into enveloping fields—punctuated by rhythmic, spatial and temporal sequences—which often contain sharp commentary on America’s globalizing culture.

Borrowing a televangelists voice from the “Trinity Broadcasting Network,” “Weeping” projects onto the room’s darkened space two floating, parallel images of identical men—both played by Melhus—who enunciate prophetic phrases of comfort, catharsis and salvation in tones that are, by turns, emotionally satisfying and profoundly manipulative. Pushing its original imagery and recycled audio into the domain of the oracular, Melhus establishes a weird zone where catastrophe and its aftermath appear biblically, calamitously impending.

Praised by Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker and Gary Shtyngart in the pages of The New York Times, the work of Bjorn Melhus heralds the arrival an important new videoartist to New York. His second solo exhibition in New York in ten months, “Weeping” represents one of Melhus most important and powerful video installations.

Bjørn Melhus has exhibited his work in, among other venues, at the The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Kunstverein Hanover, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Sprengel Museum Hanover and the Goethe-Institute New York.

Bjørn Melhus’ work can also currently be seen in “The American Effect” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Istanbul Biennial and Anita Beckers Gallery (Frankfurt). A scheduled large-scale solo exhibition of his work is set to open at FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Liverpool) in February, 2004.

Still from "Again"


born Kierchheim/Teck, Germany

BJØRN MELHUS' extraordinary video pieces are eerie looks at the modern world. His smoothly produced futurism is molded out of the vapidity of daytime trash television, telemarketing, popular music and movies and televangelism all rolled into one. Typically sampling audio directly from these sources with an uncannily hypnotic rythmic repetition, he transforms himself into all the characters who inhabit this lonely encapsulated reality, playing their roles, with scant hope of true emotional connection in the landscape built out of this culture.


Still from "The Oral Thing"


Still from "Primetime"


Still from "Blue Moon"


Still from "No Sunshine"


Still from "Weeping"







Adriana Arenas - Erik Benson - Jane Benson - Sebastiaan Bremer - Paul Campbell - Christoph Draeger

Nancy Drew - Richard Galpin -Dan Ford- Cadence Giersbach - Deborah Grant - Kevin Francis Gray
Kysa Johnson - Nelson Leirner - Bjørn Melhus - Christoph Morlinghaus - Ivan Navárro -David Opdyke
Reynold Reynolds & Patrick Jolley - Guy Richards Smit - Courtney Smith - Spessi - Eve Sussman ::

Roebling Hall : Manhattan
Roebling Hall : Brooklyn
606 West 26th St
390 Wythe Ave (at South 4th St)
New York 10001
Brooklyn 11211

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