New York

Liz Deschenes

Andrew Kreps Gallery

First developed in the late ’20s, the compositing technique known as “blue screen” still forms the basis of most cinematic special effects. This is how it works: A subject is filmed against a pure blue, green, or red backdrop. A second film, known as the background plate, is shot at a different location. The two negatives are then sandwiched in an elaborate optical printing process. Thanks to the magic of the blue screen, actors can leap off tall buildings or scale rocky cliffs without ever leaving the soundstage. Rendered more accessible by digital technology, the blue screen has become ubiquitous; we see it every time we look at the weather report. Or rather, we don’t see it. But now we do, with the help of photographer Liz Deschenes. In a deft conceptual inversion, Deschenes reverses the blue screen’s normal role by making it the subject of her “Blue Screen Process” series, 2001. (The

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