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Saturday, 08 June 2013

James Franco, Psycho Nacirema - by Silvia Bombardini


Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


What happens when James Franco's notable dramatic flair meets Douglas Gordon's own theatre of permeable subjectivities? Something thrilling for sure is to be expected, likely played out in a mirrored room. In Psycho Nacirema, Franco's first major show in the UK, the rooms are a mise-en-scène of those of the infamous Bates Motel, where in 1960, Hitchcock's thriller par excellence took place. Curated and presented by Gordon, the exhibition follows a fated path of slowed projections and cursive intertitles, framed portraits and peephole views, loosely arranged in Haunted House fashion. A blond-wigged Franco (one of Gordon's most cherished prop, if his Self-portrait as Kurt Cobain, as Andy Warhol, as Myra Hindley, as Marilyn Monroe was anything to go by) is nowadays Marion Crane, welcomed and lured further on towards her wildly stained shower room. Signs like FEEL FREE TO SIT by her unmade bed invite the audience to go along and participate the scene, and as the last room is reached, elements of real-life scandal have seeped almost unnoticed through the fiction. It's the 1921 case of Fatty Arbuckle, Hollywood star and first one-million-dollar paid actor charged with the death of the American model and silent film actress Virginia Rappe. Franco splits their unsolved story in a four-way projected film, a re-enactment of the scenario that could or could not have taken place in Room 1219, to be enjoyed from their own bed, as cinema should be, all blood and champagne.




Psycho Nacirema will be on show till August 3 at Pace Gallery, 6-10 Lexington Street W1F 0LB London.




Posted by Silvia Bombardini at 12:14 AM | Permalink


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Great read, wish I'd been there. xxx

Posted by: DP | Jun 8, 2013 1:06:23 AM

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