Curating Academy / EMBODIMENT IN THE NON-IMAGE: 'A timely screening of Derek Jarmans Blue 1993' / an installation by Padraig Robinson (DAI, 2013) / March 18-23, 2013 / DAI ground floor Kortestraat 27

tag: Arnhem

Blue 1993, is Derek Jarmans last film. Iconoclastically, it presents a perpetually Blue saturated screen, differentiated by speech acts written by Jarman when he was blind from AID's related complications. The film was premiered on the UK television station Channel 4 in 1993. This is significant in the sense of creating a personal proximity, at odds with, and perhaps even attacking, the social stigma and cultural blind spot of AIDs. Again this does not suffice as a justification to screen the film, or rather celebrate it on the blue floors of the Dutch Art Institute. The Blue image will perhaps enlighten the blue color floor of DAI's entrance hall. That is to say infecting the color of the very ground of the image, claiming its blue. The relationship private vision and public image is structured by Jarmans the voice: his addressee must rely on their interior spaces of image-production. Marie-Jose Mondzain posits that every human is inscribed in the world through symbolic operations, interior speech acts and imaging processes: "We do not see the world because we have eyes. Our eyes are opened by our ability to produce images, by our capacity to  imagine. These capacities are why we need vision in order to be able to speak; this is why the blind can speak as long as their capacity to imagine is intact."[1]

The film has a radical intimacy. It is a site of experience where the phenomenological meets the political. This is the reason why the screening is timely, given the Dutch Art Institute's remit as a site of experimental research in art. Obviously, it is relevant to screen it in 2013; 20 years on from the devastating affect the AIDS epidemic had on a not long passed generation. But Blue's emotional force is beyond its condition as a socio-political document: it hits the stomach both before and after the head.

[1] Marie-Jose Mondzain 'What does seeing an Image mean?' (Journal of Visual Culure 2010 9: 307.

Jarman © courtesy Basilisk Communication 1993