“Young and Restless”

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

When Jean-Luc Godard showed producers a rough cut of his film Le Mépris (Contempt, 1963), featuring megastar Brigitte Bardot, they were aghast to find the film devoid of nudity and demanded scenes with “BB” in the buff. Godard complied but used distancing devices that included colored filters. While heightening the spectator’s awareness of Bardot’s status as a commodity—a status echoed in the film’s tragic narrative—the filters also rendered her body an integral part of a color scheme at once hypermodern and classical. Based on Contempt, Cheryl Donegan’s Line, 1996, does not, the artist maintains, “seek to analyze or critique the Godard film, but to use it as a . . . classical language through which other stories can be told.” Donegan borrows Godard’s reds, blues, and yellows but references the paintings of Barnett Newman; mimicking the filmmaker as well as the male and female protagonists,

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