Baby Face Assassin
- Artist: Lotte Konow Lund
- Creation date: 1999
- Object type: Video art
A small, green plastic trinket with a picture of the football player Ole Gunnar Solskjær, whose dramatic last-second goal won the Champions League Final for Manchester United in 1999, has gone astray. This sparks off a surprisingly strong reaction as a young woman’s very identity is badly shaken.
Lotte Konow Lund’s video piece Babyface Assassin presents us with a static close-up of a “talking head”, personified by the artist herself. Teary-eyed and vulnerable, she recounts how this mass-produced, commonplace item was like a talisman for her. Giving her strength in difficult social situations, it enabled her to connect with Solskjær’s trademark ability to pop up unmarked in front of the goal and score at crucial moments. The determined approach of the “Baby-Faced Assassin”, as Solskjær was called while playing for Manchester United, stands clearly in contrast to an existential uncertainty where people rarely play the hero in their own life. With its short, tragicomic narrative, Babyface Assassin testifies to the modern-day cult of celebrity, where we admire athletes, pop stars, and the rich and powerful. But when someone’s identity is unconditionally linked to whatever public role model is at hand, they may soon find themselves staring into the abyss; for when asked to serve as personal support systems, these celebrities, and the items in which they are reflected, will inevitably seem feeble and haphazard. Konow Lund’s video exhibits a frank authenticity, akin to someone being interviewed in a reality TV show. The influence of mass media on modern culture seeps through, as Konow Lund again shows a highly emotive female figure struggling to come to grips with the psychological game of culture. For the viewer, the result is as unnerving as it is comical.