Purple Art

[May 20 2015]

Bjarne Melgaard “Daddies Like You Don’t Grow On Palm Trees” at Sammlung Friedrichshof, Burgenland

This show is about the failure and synthesis of a sculpture I made some 15 years ago called Light Bulb Man. The genesis of the show was to take that sculpture and simply wash it out into new models of materialization, mixed together with fashion collaborations from BLESS, Eckhaus Latta, Gypsy Sport, Orfi, Miguel Adrover, Scooter LaForge, Dertbag, and Babak Radboy as random references to my fashion collection about disappointment and the pleasure attendant to that whole concept.

What does it mean to make clothes and merchandise an iconic, 15-year old sculpture to simply whore it out, to take away all kind of financial means to it and to let go of all its history in Norwegian art life?

Light Bulb Man was scrutinized for 11 years in a court case that I finally settled after the investor who had once sponsored it had basically done anything and everything to exploit and profit from it. I want to take back this sculpture and reclaim it as a key work of mine, separate from all the corrupt assholes who have been using it and making a huge profit off it without me making anything out of it. That’s all fine by me, but I want to make this work about something other than money and iconography and see what happens when it is reproduced and remade into a new character, dressed by new, interesting and complex designers with whom I also collaborate on my fashion line The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment.

I want to bring greater specificity to the idea of making clothes and transcend superficial fashion statements like “this season is about ‘Spring’” or “Red” or the usual fashion references. Further, I have chosen to work with designers who are already outside the commercial fashion system or who are just starting out or who don‘t do it all anymore. All the fabrics in the exhibition have been designed by Babak Radboy of SHANZHAI BIENNIAL, specifically incorporating images of my boyfriend, David Oramas, and me and of Light Bulb Man. The fabrics then were given to the designers to dress nine new sculptures that are remakes of the Light Bulb Man. David and I will also present a collaboration that includes photographs, objects and installations. This was just as much a conscious decision to make works with him as it was to let the fashion collaborations and the merchandise bits become so subjective that it’s hard to see what distinguishes what is the nature and complexity of it all. The show also clearly references DMT and LSD as a significant inspiration for the show and looks at the healing aspect of these substances and how they can open up consciousness and how psychedelics can, if one is open to it, be a tool to enter your inner core.

The exhibition will also include photos, films of photos, and other films and replicate the imagery of the show morphing into something else just done by David Oramas. The „Bad Daddy“ aspect of the whole museum context also takes into consideration and contextualizes the fact that I am 48 and my lover is 21 and with all the different mechanics inherent in that attraction. It’s also a show based of seduction and intrigue along matters of age and time, themes that were fundamental to the original Light Bulb Man. The balance of the show will feature an improvised pop-up shop, soundtracks, and new paintings that will infiltrate the permanent collection of the Sammlung Friedrichshof.

Text Bjarne Melgaard and photo Sophie Thun

Subscribe to our newsletter