PEEP/SHOW - BRITTNEY APPLEBY
Co-presented by Whippersnapper Gallery
January 12 - February 12, 2021
By Brittney Appleby
Film Length: 5:47
Paris Model was created through the use of found footage and experimental analogue
film manipulation techniques. The footage is a 1940’s striptease film that was specifically created for a coin operated peep show machine. Unfortunately, the original director and performer in this film are unknown. Coin operated peep films, otherwise known as “girlie loops” first originated in kinetoscope and mutoscope parlors dating back to the late 19th century, however began to gain more popularity in “pornographic peep show arcades” in the mid 1960’s. These films were divided into several parts and encouraged the viewer to insert another coin to view each part of the film, oftentimes these prompts would come right before a reveal to entice and tease the viewer into spending more.
The film technique applied to the footage is known as mordançage or “beach etching”.
This is a chemical mixture that strips and manipulates the film's emulsion, lifting it off of the surface in layers. The beauty of this technique is the way in which it lifts the emulsion to reveal several “veils” creating a ghostly effect. The footage was then manipulated in a JK-optical printer to further distort the image. Optical printing is a technique used to re-photograph footage and was used in the film industry to create special effects up until the 1990’s. Although analogue film is now making a comeback, Appleby is passionate about these techniques as they are not only a unique and exciting way to manipulate the moving image but also a way to preserve their history to avoid further obsolesce.
By using the combination of these experimental techniques to create a macabre and
haunting image, Paris Model asks the audience to contemplate mortality and the temporality of the flesh. The ghostly figure of the model fades in and out of recognition, skin bubbling and disapting, adding a disturbing yet exciting element to the striptease being performed for the viewer. In addition to this the film also seeks to distort and disrupt the viewer's gaze of feminine bodies and asks the viewer to consider the way in which they view and support sexual autonomy.
Brittney Appleby (She/They) is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker living on the
unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations, otherwise known as Vancouver, BC. Appleby holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College and will be graduating with their BFA majoring in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Spring 2021. Their primary focus is in analogue film and photography, as well as performance and installation. Some of the themes they explore in their work are the body, trauma, memory and nostalgia. Appleby is most inspired by the materiality of analogue practices and incorporates their background in painting, drawing and printmaking into experimental filmmaking.