Debra Bosio Riley "Silent Blue Soap" 1999

April 27-May 29, 1999.

RawSpace at ARC Gallery

1040 W. Huron, Chicago, IL  ph: 312-SEE-ARTS

Press Release

Several daytime soap operas are recut, colorized and digitally manipulated into a nonlinear puppet-like dance that is accompanied by an atonal piano score. An electronic piano was played to the character’s movements just as the music that accompanied silent films was, to the exaggerate the jerking, mechanical motions of the actors as they progress in their redefined theater. The imagery is comical, pathetic and sexual in its robotic progression. The audience is encouraged to relax on blue couches, chairs, pillows and ottomans, with blue carpeting and lit with low light blue lamps and bulbs, before a fifteen foot triptych of screens that play simultaneously, . Though the tape runs for two hours without repeating, no narrative is offered. The only interruption is from a kind of blue, psychedelic-Rorschach-test offered as an intermission half way through.


Nancy Bechtol, Curator of RawSpace comments on Debra'Bosio Riley's Installation:

Beyond black curtains, the blackend room reflects a pervasive blue color vibrating off a trio of high-tech projection screens. After eyes adjust, a comfy black sofa with a table lamp makes a welcoming place to view the "blue movie." A demanding role of stacatto piano music accompanies soap opera stars who have been frozen and jarred into repeated movements, like a hip hop dance. Butts sashay, lips purse, heads bop, and bodies clip to the visual composition created larger than life. One recognizes the torment of the soap saga but the gestures tell us the story in a new way. Trapped like the "soaps" but in a larger sense, the canvas of the digital video processed display never lets us forget the artist's control and intensity projected. A new story appears, reappears, and develops over the two hour installation. Time is suspended and the blue soaps engage us once again.