A catalogue page at random
Browse the Rencontres Internationales catalogue, or search the archives of the works presented since 2004. New video clips are routinely posted and the images and text are regularly updated.
Bjørn melhus
Moon Over Da Nang
Experimental doc. | hdv | color | 15'0'' | Norway / Germany | 2016
Towards the end of the 1960ies the world witnessed the war in Vietnam through what can still be called one of the largest ever TV war spectacles. At the very same time American astronauts looked down on Earth from the moon for the first time in human history. Although initially intended as affirming American dominance in the cold war this first view on the blue planet as whole created an image that quickly became the icon of ecological thought and central to a whole movement of counter culture. MOON OVER DA NANG draws these two contrasting media events together in Melhu’s own quirky and experimental quest to come to grips with the country’s post-socialist present in the throughway between the past and the future. Interviews with residents and dreamlike associative sequences are mixed with the documentation of the production process of a life-sized marble sculpture in Da Nang, a city in central Vietnam, which, 40 years after the end of the war in Vietnam, is being discovered by international investors for the tourism business. Traces of the past and of the war are gradually covered up by the construction of hotels and luxury resorts. At the end of the film the marble sculpture receives its finishing touches and turns out to be an Apollo astronaut.
Bjørn Melhus was born in Kirchheim unter Teck in 1966 and studied Fine Arts with a major in Film/Video at the Braunschweig University of Art from 1990 to 1997. He was a fellow of the DAAD at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and of the federal state of Lower Saxony in ISCP, New York. He participated in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York, the 8th International Biennial of Istanbul, the Venice Biennial in (1998/2011), the FACT in Liverpool, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the Denver Art Museum, as well as others. Bjørn Melhus has been a professor of Fine Arts/Virtual Realities at the School of Art and Design Kassel since 2003. Bjørn Melhus has been living and working in Berlin since 1987. In his short films and installations, Bjørn Melhus focuses on general global ideas and trends, the critical reception of mass media, as well as the direct effects they have on people. He uses footage from film and television excessively and deconstructs stereotypical themes, figures and patterns of perception through means of exaggeration. At the same time, he breaks up a seemingly fixed relationship between media and audience, thus opening up the view on the essentials of human interaction.