Review of James Franco’s solo exhibition Psycho Nacirema at Pace Gallery, London or how we didn’t find out about his Russian ancestry
I checked into James Franco’s Bates motel last night.
In the beginning it was all going well. I (half) crashed the opening night of James Franco’s first solo exhibition in London, Psycho Nacirema, his take on Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. But then I missed the victim (James Franco) himself, by probably seconds. Although knowing myself, there is a probable chance that I have not noticed him as I entered this motel installation – yes even if the man in question was James Franco, because for some reason, I don’t recognize famous people, whoever they are.
James, tough, definitely was not subtle with his interpretation of the Psycho motel environment, which even if humorously gross, was all a bit too much for me. But I know you have to scream out loud if you want to touch on certain subject matters. To read more on this, check out James’ own article ‘American Psycho: Ten Years later/Twenty Years later’.
I also discovered that the atmosphere he created as a comment on the aftermath of the decadence, hedonism and self-centeredness of the ‘material world’ we have been living intensely since 1980s ( probably 1920s America) had strange effect on some people last night. For example, a member of gallery staff took things to a literal level turning into a Psycho Bitch, determined to create ugly scenes of biting someone’s head off as they attempted to enter the premises and terrorizing press at the door, denying access to some.
I myself should not complain, as I managed to get in with no problems, although I was invited to the earlier afternoon press view only, with ‘artist not present’, which sounded rather like a turn off.
I also met artist Tasleem Mulhall who asked me to take some photos of her playing and interacting with James’ installation, so we created some scenes and photos.
When you are at this motel, don’t miss the mesmerizing room with a bed and projections on all four walls of scenes that remind me of Delicatessen movie, as it is the best part of this exhibition.
And be aware if taking a shower.
You‘ve been warned.
( * James Franco’s grandmother is Russian and I was planning to ask him about his film project with Serbian artist Marina Abramovic had he not left the crime scene too soon last night. Next time.)