Brice Dellsperger at Marsèlleria

Artist: Brice Dellsperger

Exhibition title: Body Double

Curated by: Selva Barni-Fantom

Venue: Marsèlleria, Milan, Italy

Date: October 24 – November 30, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Marsèlleria, Milan

Note: List of works can be found here

The first solo show by Brice Dellsperger in Italy introduces his work to the public through a selection of video-movies from his ongoing series Body Double, started in 1995.

Installed with multiple screens and projectors across the 3 floors of Marsèlleria, the exhibition displays a large number of works to convey the richness, complexity, obsessiveness, and allure of Dellsperger’s work, and its enduring originality and relevance.

The source of the artist’s research is cinema, used as material to manipulate, recreate, subvert. Body Double takes its name from Brian De Palma’s eponymous 1984 movie and synthesizes the conceptual and physical articulations of Dellsperger’s work. In this series, together with his actor-alter ego Jean-Luc Verna, he remakes sequences of cult movies (De Palma, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Lynch, van Sant, Zulawski), playing all roles, masculine and feminine, and lip-synching original dialogues. In multiple, disorienting incarnations that question the artifice of cinema and issues of gender. While interlocking practices of appropriation and re-enactment, and mirroring the relationships between couples like author-viewer, subject-object, desire-representation, filming-editing.

The use of drag and camp, of the utterly artificial, the imperfections, the glitches, loops and duplications, destabilize the conventions of cinema and representation, and question the ways in which we project ourselves onto others – and ultimately represent ourselves. Addressing also the ordinary, overarching presence in our lives of the self-portrait, the backbone of imagination, and the construction of the self, in the age of social networks.

Brice Dellsperger was born in 1972 in Cannes (France). After studying fine arts for five years in Nice Villa Arson, he moved to Paris where he lives and works as a visual artist since 1995 and as a teacher at ENSAD since 2003. He is represented by galleries Air de Paris, Paris, and Team Gallery, New York. Dellsperger’s work mainly consist in a video series which counts today more than 30 films of various length, named “Body Double” after Brian De Palma’s 1984 feature film. The whole video series is based on the concept of body double in commercial feature films. In Dellsperger’s works, he proposes a new version of an existing movie sequence by producing a copy, also called remake, of the sequence itself, then replacing the characters of the original with various transvestites. The technique of lipsyncing is also a particularity of Dellsperger’s works as his works often use the original soundtrack of the existing movie. In many Body Doubles, one non-professional actor is performing all the characters of the original movie (Dellsperger himself in Body Double 1 to 5, 13 and 15), thus visually repeating the character as many times as the number of characters/roles in the original sequence. One big hit from Dellsperger is without any doubt Body Double (X), 2000, starring Jean-Luc Verna, visual artist and friend, who is playing all the parts in this long feature film after “L’important c’est d’aimer”, by Zulawski. Dellsperger works have been exhibited in various locations such as MoMA (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and various countries (Brasil, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Japan). Dellsperger’s work is included in a number of prominent public collections including that of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.