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06.03.2011 - 12.06.2011
Olrik Kohlhoff/Bjørn Melhus
Der Wald steht schwarz

Once again, Gerisch-Stiftung unites an outstanding artist from Schleswig-Holstein with an ideal partner from outside the area. This results in an exciting dialogue between the bizarre graphic worlds of Olrik Kohlhoff (born 1971) from Kiel and the internationally renowned videos by Bjørn Melhus (born 1966). Although Kohlhoff’s drawings are very different from the filmic narratives of Melhus (who is of Norwegian descent) in terms of style and medium, the two artists both explore and articulate inner worlds from a psychological point of view. Both focuses on the forest as a romantic projection surface for strange, dark fears as well as for supposedly original natural things.


When entering the exhibition, the visitor is immediately confronted with a drawing by Olrik Kohlhoff which covers an entire wall and has been specially commissioned for Gerisch-Stiftung. It is a typical example of Kohlhoff’s motif universe – a forest scene in which wild boar roam the undergrowth chancing upon buried apples and tunnels in which naked human beings live like maggots. This conjures up an absurdly dreamlike, slightly creepy atmosphere which is in keeping with the creatures of the forest in one of Bjørn Melhus’s best-known video works "The Meadow". Here the artist makes the creatures recite sequences from Walt Disney's film "Bambi", thereby emphasising a childlike and fairytale quality as well as a sinister quality, which is the hallmark of the entire exhibition. Alongside further drawings by Kohlhoff, Melhus shows, in the Gerisch gallery, one of his most recent installations, "Die Nachtwache" (The Night Watch), under the intense gaze of an owl in the shadow of the full moon.