Bläue – Blueness


Bläue  (Blueness)
Video, UK/Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 48 min, 2017

“In this situation, I wanted to start from the materiality of my body, analyse the restrictions imposed on it, which have become part of my psychology. From there, I wanted the ability to act and re-appropriate my body, my knowledge and a different practice…”
(quoted after Women’s Group Via Cherubini Milano, in: Sottosopra 1976)

Juxtaposing images of the production sites of the pharmaceutical-chemical industry with speculations on the historical, social, and material conditions of Cyanotype photography, “Bläue” (Blueness) probes into the (gendered) politics of materiality and the (violent) historicities of its form.
The film follows a figure that proceeds through the stages of exposing and developing a Cyanotype. They revisit sites in Seveso, Italy, and Basel, Switzerland that both relate directly to the history of Prussian Blue, a blue synthetic dye.
In the latent period, when the images are exposed but not developed yet, the figure searches to define their body as both commodity and consumer of pharmaceutical products. This body is modelled on the productive body of Fordist labour. Yet like the industrial sites that appear as remnants of an older mode of production, this body has been fundamentally reconfigured to conform to post-industrial working conditions.
Subsequently, the figure aims to perform against pharmaceutical substances and prepare against a neoliberal take-over of their movements, lingering between the roles of researcher, scientist, athlete, pharmacist, patient, woman.


music: Wibke Tiarks

filmed on location at Bosco delle Querce Seveso and Via Icmesa, Meda
camera Andreas Voß
filmed on location at Novartis Schweizerhalle and Deponie Feldreben Muttenz Basel
camera Andrea Thal

performance The Alleged Body
filmed on location at Niagara Custom Labs Toronto
camera Oliver Husain, technical advisor Faraz Anoushahpour
filmed at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen
recording Nathan Gray, documentation Daniel Jarosch

Seveso – Memoria di Parte
 filmed at Medienwerkstatt Bethanien
based on a conversation with the Seveso – Memoria di parte activist group in June 2017
performance and translation Manuela Schininà
research/script advisor Paolo Caffoni

colour correction Sebastian Bodirsky
sound mastering Manuela Schininà
audio description and subtitles for HoH provided by Collective Text Glasgow
cyanotypes on film scanned by Frame Discreet Toronto

funded through Arts Council England

supported by:
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival 2017
North East Photography Network Newcastle
Goethe Institut UK
Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen Innsbruck
Images Festival Toronto 2017

technical specifications: 
48 minutes
B/W and colour, 4:3
audio: 5.1 surround sound
language: English and Italian with English subtitles
optional: visual description for visually impaired audience; closed captions for hard of hearing audience (in English)