Red and Blue and Their Daughter Purple
By Max Bernstein
Mixed Media Video Installation
40-Minute Loop
Exhibited in the Fall 2011 MFA Exhibition at the CU Boulder Art Museum

Red and Blue and Their Daughter Purple is a multi-channel, mixed media, video installation, which investigates the possibilities and constructs of a postmodern cinema space. This work sheds the formal and paradigmatic structures of cinema from the anticipated experience of a spectator and its subject. I am interested in freeing both the viewer and the images from their respective roles in order to encourage a new kind of cinematic captivation through immersion, and the blurring of screen space and viewer space. Borrowing from notions of theatrical liveness, Red and Blue and Their Daughter Purple utilizes both the form of the long take as well as consciousness of scale to give the impression of live projected bodies. Utilizing a combination of objects and projections, this piece seeks to activate the viewer’s consciousness through physical engagement with animated objects. I am interested in exploring the representational limitations of sculpture and cinema by using images to re-insert auras back into objects as well as objects to re-insert an auras back into images. Highly influenced by Samuel Beckett, and other authors of the theater of the absurd, Red and Blue and Their Daughter Purple’s narrative depicts an entirely self reflexive and self reflective moment. The work meanders through a conscious ontology, subjective notions of being, existential satire, and a contemporary representation of Japanese Benshi tradition from early film history. All characters in this work were written and performed by Max Bernstein.


Max Bernstein was born in Buffalo, NY where he received his BA in Media Study, with a production concentration from the University at Buffalo. Bernstein’s work meanders through the liminal spaces between cinema, theater, sculpture, performance, and media, arriving at interdisciplinary experiences. Through his explorations, Bernstein attempts to make transparent the importance of the dynamic and the relationship between subject and spectator, illustrated by philosophies of subjective idealism, existential ontology, and the theater of the absurd. Bernstein is also interested in contending with the limitations and problems of presentation and representation, which are inherent to moving image and other forms of projected work. Max received his MFA in film and studio art from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After working in Denver, Colorado, as artist, collaborator, and adjunct instructor at University of Colorado at Boulder and Rocky Mountain College of Art and design, Bernstein has returned to New York State, where he currently works between New York City and Buffalo.

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