Magazine article Artforum International

Brice Dellsperger

Magazine article Artforum International

Brice Dellsperger

Article excerpt

AIR DE PARIS

One-upping Hollywood cliches of voyeurism, transvestism, and bloodlust, Brice Dellsperger's employs conceptual and visual mirroring, looping, and duplication in his videos for maximum camp appeal. The artist's series "Body Double," 1995--, includes some thirty-odd re-created scenes from cult movies by the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, David Lynch, and, most frequently, Brian De Palma. The recent presentation of six works from the series (four starring the artist himself in multiple roles) was a self-referential fun house of sorts--wherein a mirror, multiple projections, and a double-sided screen installed in the gallery brought a certain physicality to Dellsperger's filmic reprises.

In addition to recalling De Palma's eponymous 1984 movie, the phrase "Body Double" describes the physical and psychological reduplications that characterize Dellsperger's fragmentary remakes. Fittingly shown on an outmoded television set, Body Double 28, 2013, re-creates a manhunt from the 1984 pilot of the Miami Vice TV series. In a sequence of quick crosscuts, a woman (Dellsperger in drag, acces-sorized with a bad wig, pink fingernails, and a handgun) pursues a shifty-eyed, androgynous gunslinger (also Dellsperger). The video begins with the camera panning to the left. As the woman walks forward across a stretch of wet asphalt, her foe appears to back away into the shadows. About midway through the nearly three-minute scene, the action begins to reverse itself. Now walking backward and to the right, the woman passes through the same gritty mise-en-scene as her adversary approaches from the left. Shown in an endless loop, the twinned nemeses waltzing back and forth across the TV make unnerv-ingly ambiguous the delineation who is chasing whom.

Body Double 30, 2013, is based on De Palma's tawdry whodunit Dressed to Kill (1980), in which a sexually frustrated housewife undergoing psychoanalysis has a one-night stand with a mysterious stalker and winds up brutally murdered. …

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