Project Overview

First presented as part of the group exhibition Under the Volcano at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, and subsequently at Harewood House near Leeds (where the film was shot) Bellevue is an intricate, audacious work by 2008 Northern Art Prize winner Paul Rooney.

Based upon Malcolm Lowry’s short story Lunar Caustic, whose flights of fancy emanate from inside the walls of a 1930’s New York psychiatric hospital, Rooney’s video takes place against the idealised backdrop of a picture-perfect English country house, and depicts an advertising agency focus group discussing the use of Lowry’s writing in a campaign. Colliding contemporary marketing jargon with the literary innovations of mid-20th century modernism, Bellevue subjects ‘reality’ to various levels of scrutiny; highlighting the potential for imaginative projection (and creative confusion) engendered by the written word.


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