Derek Jarman: Blue


‘Blue’ is a film detailing the end of the artist, Derek Jarman’s life, which came to an end in 1994 because of aids related complications. For 76 minuets the screen of this film never changes from the colour ‘Klein Blue’. As you sit watching it you wait for the shot to change.

The setting and narrative of the piece are constructed using sound-scapes and voice overs. The script is narrated by various actors the artist himself, which explore the numerous meanings and thoughts surrounding the colour blue.

In 1986 Jarman was diagnosed with HIV. He began this film about the colour blue once his illness began to take his sight and his medication began to make him see the world as if through a blue filter.

That is why for 76 minutes the screen never changes from Klein blue. It begins to torment the viewer as time progresses. You transcend into the mind frame of Jarman at this particular period of his life.

The reason why I have been looking into this piece of work is because it is another portrait with the absence of a body. You are transported, as a viewer, into the world of this artists torment and connect with his suffering, just simply by looking at the colour blue, accompanied by a series of disturbing soundtracks and voice overs.

This work shows just how powerful a portrait can be delivered when it is so minimal, and although it appears to be so minimal and simple when initally viewing the work, after spending time with it all the layers of complex meaning are discovered.

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