The Blue Balcony is a ciné-sculpture people can enter created by the artist group et al. Referencing the atmospheric movie palaces of the 1920s’ the sculpture’s interior posses a vaulted ceiling constellated with specks of light and walls doubling as façade scenery. The resultant effect is the impression of being in the open air. As was often the case in the atmospheric cinemas, there is ambient cove lighting left on during the feature, also changing to correspond with the film’s tenor. Finally, three tiers of seats provide ample space for an audience of 14 to sit and face a sheet of glass looking out onto the ripple of the leaves in the community garden.
Thematically the balcony is decorated with allusions to The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck, the no longer extant labyrinth of Versailles and accompanying Aesop’s Fable animal fountains, and the 1924 silent cubist film L’Inhumaine featuring the vampish Georgette Leblanc and sets designed by the modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens.
As the plots to many a film have been invigorated by their twist ending, The Blue Balcony is in no different a category. We won’t be screening movies! Instead the projected image on a movie screen will be permanently deferred during the duration of the film. The audience will still be able to hear the now disembodied soundtrack, but instead of seeing an image a computer will process the levels of luminosity in each film frame and disperse the quantity of light for said frame onto the architecture of the space. Thus replacing the projected image with peripheral lighting, leaving the audience’s eyes free to roam.
Events at Le Petit Versailles are made possible by Allied Productions, Inc., Green Thumb/NYC Dept. of Parks, Materials for the Arts; NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, NYC Dept. of Sanitation & NYC Board of Education.
Film & Exhibition support from The New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Thanks to Build It Green and Participant Inc who generously supported material to The Blue Balcony.