Video (DV),  28:38 min (loop), 2007
Screening Version: 29:40 min, 2007


In order to engage an increasingly commercialized society video artist Bjørn Melhus subjects commonly used media tactics and formats to a process of reflection and reconsideration. With THE MEADOW Melhus ties together the final sequence of his film AUTO CENTER DRIVE (2003) in which the main character, Jimmy, rides off into the sunset with a “phantom driver” towards an unknown future. THE MEADOW is a moved personality profile of stagnancy in the form of an endless rite through the night. In the course of the journey Jimmy continually leaves for excursions into the woods, but after diverse confrontations, returns quickly to the questionable shelter of the car.

Melhus borrows the characters of his works from the pop culture constituted in film and television and with their help questions the myths of our consciousness of media. While the character Jimmy (now seven years older) still cites sentences from the films REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (USA 1955) and EAST OF EDEN (USA 1955), almost all the language fragments used by the protagonists appearing in THE MEADOW are taken from the classic Disney film BAMBI (USA 1942). By deconstructing and re-contextualizing these American film myths THE MEADOW draws an image of a nightmarish and hopeless situation of one’s fear of the unknown and in turn forms the departing point of a series of works, which illuminate different scenarios of fear and threat.

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Bjørn Melhus: The Meadow, Video, 29 min, Installation View: Roebling Hall, New York, 2007, Photo: Bjørn Melhus

Production Team:

Written, directed, performed, edited and produced by Bjørn Melhus
Director of Photography: Mike Jarmon
Costume/ Make-up: Julia Neuenhausen
Set Photography: Ralf Henning
Lighting Assistant: Markus Bertuch
Sound Design: Max Schneider
Production: Yuki Jungesblut