New Viewings #12

Curated by Barbara Thumm

In the re-interpretation made for the setting of New Viewings, the eternal loop of lament becomes a strong metaphor for the isolation felt during the pandemic lockdown.

“I do not belong in this House” reflects our current state of being: Home and in an endless yearning for escape. A man, cloaked in fur, sits before a fire, destitute in his position, regularly crying out “I do not belong in this house!” as if bargaining for release with the viewer. The presentation is reminiscent of the Grimm fairy tale “The Bear Skinner”. A homeless soldier makes a pact with the devil where in exchange for means to live, the soldier is forbidden from bathing or cutting his hair for seven years. Thus starts his isolation.

Bjørn Melhus

Bjørn Melhus, *1966 in Kirchheim unter Teck,
lives and works in Berlin

In “I do not belong in this House”, the figure who seemed to dwell behind the living room wall in “I’m not the Enemy” actually appears.

This man, covered entirely in hair and warming himself at the fire, appears to have been inspired by the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Bear Skinner”.

In this story, a homeless soldier makes a pact with the devil, who tells him that for seven years he must not wash himself or cut his hair, and wear only a shaggy bear pelt. Rejected by society, he survives only with the help of the devil, whose financial support finally enables his resocialization.

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