Building into the Blue

series of inkjet prints, 14 x 21″ \ 2010

Building into the Blue is a series of photographs taken in the outskirts of Budapest, Hungary of roadside billboards covered with blueback paper. Used on billboards to ensure complete opacity over previous layers, the blue-coated paper is presumably applied in reverse to cover up vacant advertising space. Contrary to their customary function as desire-inducing screens within the instrumentalist logic of capitalism, the depicted billboards are empty of signifying content. The images instead bear witness to an involuntary retreat of representation, a refusal to signify, to be readable, to rationalize. Occupying most of the photographic image, the blue surface creates an illusionary spatial depth, and in doing so it opens up an abstract, symbolic space of possibility. While specific to the context of Hungary’s economic recessions during the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the images also probe broader questions about the possibility of a space from which to launch a critique.