Truls Melin: galleri lars bohman.
It's not purely phantasm with Melin. He'd been struck by the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea four years ago. But undersea craft have been important to him since the age of ten, when he photographed his own customized sub and ship models in a puddle of rainwater near his home in Malmo. He found those photographs in his parents' basement in 2000 and reprinted them; they hung in the back room of the gallery. Throughout his career, Melin has made up his idiosyncratic macroworld as if using toys from the attic. As with artists like Paul Thek, Bruce Nauman, Chris Burden, and Mike Kelley, his work raises the question as to whether it emulates fanaticism or just is fanatical.
It was William Burroughs who said that a schizophrenic is the person who has realized what's really going on. Melin's work sits comfortably next to that sentiment; he has always behaved as if outfitted with a pair of X-ray eyes that permit him insight into the fantastic inner workings below the surface of appearances. His lifelong fascination with submarines finds its most acute form in this exhibition; he has skinned the boats to see what's beneath what's beneath. His fondness for the process of peeling back, his contagious curiosity, infuses his art with an air of uncomplicated enchantment. Melin is helpless to resist seeking the answer to what's down there--whether in make-believe submarines or his own inner life. But when his skinning continues unchecked, fondness becomes tenacity, and tenacity mulishness, and then you are but a step away from the fanatical in Melin's art. He admits having suffered "psychotic feelings" during a repeated viewing of Stan Douglas's video installation Der Sandmann, 1995, a slowly circulating double projection--"a deeply schizophrenic experience," said some critics--based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's book of the same title. As a result, he entered the hospital that year. Like Zeno's paradox gone amok or the child's rhyming riddle "Pete and Repeat" caught in nauseating repetition, his sculptures can become unnerving. Things slip from fascinating to mesmerizing to obsessive, even menacing in this exhibition, without the slightest warning, and that seems to be the way Melin sees things.
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|Title Annotation:||Stockholm; artist's sculptures can become unnerving|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2004|
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