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Bjarne Melgaard’s Munch Museum Show Will Feature a Soundtrack With Dolly Parton, Diana Ross

Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled, 1997.COURTESY MUNCH MUSEUM

Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled, 1997.

COURTESY MUNCH MUSEUM

Curator Lars Toft-Eriksen said at a press reception today to promote “The end of it all has already happened,” an upcoming show of works by Edvard Munch and Bjarne Melgaard at Oslo’s Munch Museum, that among Melgaard’s many contributions to the show will be a “soundtrack” alternative to the show’s audio guide that features songs by the likes of Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, the Caprenters, and Todd Rundgren.

Melgaard, who was at the reception at the Norwegian consul general’s apartment in New York, said he wanted the soundtrack to be “counteractive to the show itself, because you have all these heavy themes but then you balance them with the lightness of the pop music,” not unlike the bright colors in The Scream.

“And then you have the sadness of Karen Carpenter, which brings the musical themes back to the show’s themes,” he added.

The show’s presentation aims to be equally “chaotic,” Toft-Eriksen said, with six rooms devoted to juxtapositions of Munch and Melgaard (who is something of a superstar in his native Norway). Their walls will covered with massive photos of Melgaard installations and then hung with Munchs. The seventh room will feature a new installation by Melgaard, the whole show trying to “mess with” our perception of Munch, Toft-Eriksen said.

“If you’re from Norway, Munch is inescapable,” Melgaard said. “I almost felt claustrophobic.” But he’s come to admire the artist, he said, for his “fast way of working, the improvisation, the way he left things unfinished.”

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