Air de Paris

Brice Dellsperger

20 Feb - 20 Mar 2010

© Brice Dellsperger
"More Body doubles"

20 February – 20 March 2010

Air de Paris is delighted to announce the coming solo exhibition by Brice Dellsperger. The exhibition will include the two latest films in his Body Double series, together with photographs from the recent work Body Double 22 and brand new drawings by Jean-Luc Verna.

For Body Double 23 Brice Dellsperger deconstructs the casting sequence from Brian de Palma's Black Dahlia, itself already a doubling up of the acting of the aspiring starlet and her images on the screen. The body maquillage of the new actress playing Betty Ann Short retrojects her coming mutilations. The scenes are not just replicated, but transformed into something absolutely new – a Body Double.

For Body Double 22, Dellsperger starts with Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, ten years after its initial release. Once again he is working with Jean-Luc Verna, who plays all the parts. In contrast with his earlier films, limited to reprises of single scenes – the exceptions being BD X, which used the whole of Zulawski's That Most Important Thing: Love, and BD16, which included scenes from two different films – this new opus takes advantage of the opportunity to apply the same directing principles to several different scenes: doubles split off into female characters. The gender trouble the artist creates – his actor is systematically dressed as a woman, even when playing male parts – once again contaminates the remake exercise. Using a host of replayed scenes – the film lasts 35 minutes – Body Double 22 jumbles their order, reorganising different sequences from Kubrick's last masterpiece around the original's key scene – Dr Harford’s discovery of the secret ritual – which here recurs over and over. The splitting operations thus interfere with the film's linearity, dividing into different spaces the scenes re-enacted and shot in different parts of the same theatre: the dream narrative, the visit to the morgue, the naked woman in the bathroom, the visit to the dead patient's daughter, etc. The use of inlays even enables the overlaying of scenes within a single shot, that of the argument. In addition, the use of overdubbed sound heightens the general unease and helps distance the film from Kubrick's original.

At once extremely exact in its reconstruction of the scenes, but not in their presentation – an actress whose body prefigures the corpse of BD 23, use of one and the same actor, an order in disarray, a recurring scene for BD 22 –Dellsperger's work captures both the fate and the obsessions of the characters, the memory the film can give rise to, and its condensation in a new form. Like his preceding pieces, and in that they both fall short of and transcend the film they are copying, these Body Doubles also let us assess the real scope of his project: a return to the source of the original and a reproduction of it such as memory might have achieved. Memory which is always contraction, drawing-out, reinterpretation – in other words, transformation of a lived sequence, here in filmed form.

Born in 1972, Brice Dellsperger has been working on his Body Double cycle since 1995. The films have been shown at many international film festivals and been acquired by private and public collections. His feature-length Body Double X is part of the prestigious MoMA collection in New York.

Tags: Brice Dellsperger, Jean-Luc Verna