The Theatrical Journalist

Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.

‘Psycho Nacirema’ by James Franco & Douglas Gordon

James Franco and Douglas Gordon have teamed up to present ‘Psycho Nacirema’ – a multimedia installation exhibition at Pace Gallery in Soho, London. Fortunately (Aphrodite must be smiling on my celebrity love life) I was in London at the time of the exhibition. Franco and Gordon have recreated the pivotal scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho, with Franco playing Marion Crane (and looking absurdly pretty while doing so) as she’s driving to Bate’s Motel and while she’s being murdered in that shower scene. The gallery was extremely heated, and I wondered whether this was either a) to heighten the uncomfortable tension in Norman Bates’ motel, or b) because the gallery was just overheated for reasons unrelated to artistic integrity. Either way, the heat was accompanied by the sound of a strained violin and simulated blood was spattered around the installation, allowing us to step right into the scene. The collaboration also involved the recreation of the mise-en-scene of Norman Bate’s motel, fitted with those taxidermy birds Bates was so obsessed with, as well as a bathroom covered in blood.

Franco as Marion Crane

Franco as Marion Crane, recreating the iconic ‘shower scene’ where she is stabbed.

"James as Marion" clutching onto the money Marion has just stolen from her place of work.

“James as Marion” clutching onto the money Marion has just stolen from her work.

“In Psycho Nacirema, James Franco uses the motel structure as both a physical and literal framework, reinterpreting iconic scenes from the original film through evocative details such as the motel neon signage or the infamous shower room where the film character Marion Crane, is murdered. One of Gordon’s most well-known works is 24 Hour Psycho (1993), a projection of Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film slowed down to last an entire day which also sparked inspiration for the exhibition.

Franco’s installations heighten the psychological entrapment set out by Hitchcock, beckoning the audience to become a participating character within the plot. Split Marion, 2013 a diptych mirror installation, prompts the viewer to join the artist to gaze and be gazed upon, projecting themselves as the characters of Marion Crane and Norman Bates. Compelled to identify with them, the audience is forced to recognise their own neurosis and psychological inadequacies generated by the silver-screen,” – Artistic statement from Pace Gallery.

Franco as Marion Crane is pretty as a picture.

Franco as Marion Crane is pretty as a picture.

Source: Images taken by Hayley Tantau at Pace Gallery, Soho, London.







One comment on “‘Psycho Nacirema’ by James Franco & Douglas Gordon

  1. adithyaentertainment
    July 3, 2013

    Reblogged this on Adithya Entertainment.

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2013 by in Culture & Society, Film and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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