Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl. Solo Prize 2018. Photo Søren Rønholt

Solo Award Winner 2018: Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl

The winner of the jury's Solo Prize in 2018 is Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl for the video works ODE and NO OZONE. Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl works in various media, but centers on film, sound, music and photography. These elements are often mixed into complex and energetic works that revolve around memory, trauma and imagination.

In ODE, Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl has created a video work in which the story is told through a powerful combination of horror aesthetics, music and documentaries.

In ODE, the protagonists are played by Kim Mejdahl himself and his close family, his mother and three sisters. In a series of choreographed scenes, they take turns performing songs based on their experience of living with an alcoholic spouse and father - a man whose destiny it is to be killed, pushed down a flight of stairs.

While Kim Mejdahl and his family evoke collective memories of violence and abuse, the viewer is drawn into a universe where the boundary between fiction and reality is blurred, where family memories are fictionalized by music video aesthetics and chainsaw massacre moments. As a viewer, an uncertainty arises as to whether the story being told is true, whether the abuse really took place and whether the photographic material of the dead body presented to us is real or false?

The same blend of personal experience, aggression and vulnerability seen in ODE can be felt in the energetic animation film NO OZONE.

NO OZONE is an animation consisting of 2448 individual drawings scanned and composed for a surreal and absurd comic music video. NO OZONE, the first animation by the artist, shows Kim Mejdahl herself as a cartoon character dancing and singing (to self-composed music) through a barren desert landscape. As in ODE, references to death seem to do away with the human ability to suppress trauma, to literally and metaphorically bury the unpleasant and other unwelcome emotions — feelings that are doomed to persecute you. In NO OZONE they come in the form of an evil-eyed snake, which as an evil spirit morphs in and out of the artist's body.

The Jury's Solo Prize 2018 goes to Kim Mejdahl for his courage in allowing his own personal story to lead his work without reducing it to pure subjective therapy. In ODE and NO OZONE, he has created two video works, both of which have a visual, emotional and bodily effect on the viewer. The jury was fascinated by this energy-filled universe, whose intense personal expression blurs the boundaries between art and life. The private is not sacred in Kim Mejdahl's universe, as his work focuses on the childhood traumas that most people avoid discussing. Kim Mejdahl's extraordinarily honest work, and the intense efforts made to create the film ODE as well as the three-minute animation NO OZONE, Kim Richard Adler Mejdahl has produced two works that for the jury were unforgettable in their intense, nauseating and powerful exploration of the healing power of vengeance and the personal treatment of trauma.