Rema Hort Mann Foundation

Dora Budor

The tensions between the bodies and effects active in cinematic space today become
symptoms of production that has largely shifted from analog to digital over the last 20
years, taking place not only on the surface of the image but also under its digital skin,
and become mirror of a dense psychological map of contemporary neoliberal society
and the information technology. I often exploit technical processes behind the visual
effects and prosthetics or make-up that are used to simulate bodily sensations or to
transfer ethereal instances of emotion onto the screen. In recent body of work (img 1-7)
I worked with a special effects studio to reverse engineer injury makeup that appears
on characters in Blade Runner and Elysium, and used original multiples of skin
prosthetics leftover from various horror movies, placed inside of transparent screens
which fade out to black or create motion blur as the viewers’ body moves in physical
space. Transparent screens expose the “bone structure” of the television mounting
systems, and the position of the viewer’s body in space plays or rewinds a digitalistic
film transition to the work.
Methods that my work uses include re-performing cinema and injecting it with
subjectivity, process that is symptomatic of the culture of remake and digital ripping
and bootlegging. “Action Paintings” (img 8 -10) are series of three action videos in
which casted stunt double and the main actor switch roles and bodies, constantly
alternating between main actor and extra. The stunt double carries a “blank” object—a
newly stretched canvas—in each movie that becomes a shield, weapon or stolen good,
and her falls, cuts and other destructive actions create indexical prop paintings which
become at the same time documents of their creation, while vides become their
“making-of”. For the hybrid performance and video work “KnockOff” (img 11-12) the
action movie of the same name is used as an initial script, casting local mixed martial
arts fighters from three different cities as stuntmen and actors, with each further
performance being a copy and the sequel of the previous performance. The process is
drawn from the phenomena of “Hollywoodification” and “mockbusters” — unlicensed,
often foreign, remakes of mainstream Hollywood films — granting an expanded view
onto violence and heroism translated through different cultures.
“Hot Rare Signed” (img 13-15) series uses pirated, replicated and forged memorabilia
from movie franchise to create new objects; works use different configurations of
displays from movie retail stores as sculptural elements that become erased with
different certified signatures which are recognized as counterfeit through comparison.
“Bullet Time Effect” works (img 16-17) use patents of two different production modes
of Matrix franchise: Bullet Time – special visual effect that refers to a digitally enhanced
simulation of variable-speed (patented by Warner Bros), and official advertising
ephemera as it changes and captures errors in color, composition and treatment of
original poster images through various printing processes and internet proliferation in
different countries.

Last two projects (img 18-20) source screen-used props from sci-fi movies that were
present in the scenes of destruction to reveal cyborg bodies beneath the skin – Bruce
Willis’ chest prosthetics and Kristanna Loken’s damaged hand, human prosthesis of a
speed machine. Both examine the life of the human body on the surface as represented
on film or in still images, where semiotics subsumes substance, and organic matter
becomes digital or technological. The impacts of the accidents upon the organic body
exist to transform it into surface, and technologies of representation (re)produce
images that usurp its priority and reconfigure its integrity.