TEXT BY DIEGO RAMIREZ
In the context of cinema, blue walls are inevitably associated with the ‘blue
screen room’ and the ‘chroma key effect’ – subjects are recorded in front of a blue
background later to be replaced during post–production. Blue Movie subverts this
process by concentrating on the materiality of the walls, and therefore disrupting
the illusory effect associated with the ‘blue screen’. Payne discharges a vision of
degradation in which blockbuster escapism – castaway tigers, Ninja Turtles and
James Franco in funny hats – is replaced with the presentness (and perhaps the
bleakness) of ‘reality’. However, a more sophisticated critique lies in the way in
which it communicates to cinematic video art practices and their relationship to
the art complex – a communion crystallised by the emergence of the black cube.
This syncretism remains a highly contested ground, with a blend of various art
historical ‘worms’ and a myriad of filmic ‘corpses’ fertilizing the land.
It may be hard to tell if Jackson Payne’s Blue Movie is rotting, sprouting or perhaps
mutating, but his enthusiastic references to mortality bring late Syd Barrett’s No
Man’s Land lyrics to mind: “When I live I die!”.
BLUE MOVIE is at King‘s ARI until May 23 at Level 1 / 171 King Street Melbourne