Weeping

Gallery 2

Weeping (2001) deals with the rhetoric and performance of the anchor-man of religious television. Drawing on a history of evangelical broadcast Melhus examines the style and presentation of the media priest. Weeping borrows the voice of Mark Chironna, member of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and a central figure in America religious media. The figure is presented in a traditional half-length portrait and doubled in a parallel projection.

This has two effects. The traditional presentation, with the figures emerging and disappearing from a halo of light, references the original Christian image the Vera Icon, the true image of Christ. However, the doubling contradicts the idea of one true divine being. Typically Melhus also uses this doubling to express the idea of split ego, one figure being softer and weaker in its utterances, the other aggressive and forceful. All the traditional forms of enchantment and persuasion are employed: the direct gaze, the notion of appeal, the attempt to recruit, but they exist purely as empty rhetoric, leaving us in a constant state of weeping.

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