The film Let Your Mind Be Your Bed takes the form of an experimental puppet show where we meet four protagonists’ dolls in conversation. Their interaction is constructed around the late New York-based author Kathy Acker and Bjarne Melgaard's parents and sister. The character's dialogue and exchanges are inspired by Acker's pioneering literature that unites impulses from punk, postmodernism and sex-positivist feminism. In her texts, she combines biographical elements, power, sex and violence. Acker broke any and all generic constraints and narrative conventions in her collage-like novels or, better described as literary assemblages. The iconic, radical and uncompromising writer, who died twenty years ago, and whose deep and often-unacknowledged influence has been reassessed in this current work, appropriately so by Bjarne Melgaard.
Bjarne Melgaard is a Norwegian artist (b. 1967 in Sydney, Australia), who recently moved to Norway from New York, where he worked and lived for more than a decade. Melgaard started out in the mid 1990ʼs with a neo expressionistic, frantic style of painting, sculpture and installation. Melgaardʼs art deals with the dark side of humanity, such as self-destruction, deviant sexuality and odd religious beliefs. It provides an insight into subcultures and parallel worlds that exists alongside the world of normality. It often discusses, investigates and pushes the boundaries of societal acceptance.
Melgaard has had more than forty solo exhibitions in leading galleries around the world. His works has been seen in numerous group shows and at international art fairs; he is a frequent curator and collaborator and has written more than a dozen novels, and produced seven films. His latest book, "A New Novel" (2012), is the first English language novel published by Norwegian publishing house Aschehoug. Melgaard’s work is owned by leading museums and art collections.
In 2011, Melgaard represented Norway at La Biennale Di Venezia, the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice. He has twice participated in the Biennale de Lyon. In 2011, Melgaard was given a mid-career retrospective at the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo and in 2014, Melgaard participated in The Whitney Biennial. January 2015 Melgaard was the focus of the first of six important exhibitions at the Munch Museum in Oslo, "MELGAARD + MUNCH: The end of it all has already happened”. The exhibition placed Edvard Munch's oeuvre in direct dialogue with works by Melgaard.
In late 2016, Skira Rizzoli published the first comprehensive monograph of the artist’s career. Throughout recent years, Melgaard has produced numerous international exhibitions. Among these are "Sugar Amnesia" at Rod Bianco in Oslo and "The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment" at Red Bull Arts in New York in 2017. His most recent solo exhibitions in 2018 include the gallery exhibition "Bodyparty (Substance Paintings)" and its virtual, Instagram based extension "Life Killed My Chihuahua", at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in London.
In 2018 Melgaard collaborated with artist Sverre Bjertnes, and together exhibited two parallel exhibitions in Oslo, "Noe må gå i stykker" at Rod Bianco and "Den borgerlige byrde" at Galleri Brandstrup. Bjarne is also known for his collaborative process together with the Norwegian architecture and design firm Snøhetta, “A House to Die In”. The collaborative project was shown in an exhibition at Tjuvholmen in Oslo, Norway in early 2018 and showed the artistic process of designing the unique home and studio that is currently seeking approval for its construction.
Installation photo: Erik Sæter Jørgensen.