Category Archives: Hitchcock and Contemporary Art

Dial M for Murder: Daniel Canogar

My assigned artist for my film, Dial M for Murder, was Daniel Canogar. His goal is to “bring dead materials back to life, reveal their secrets, revive the collective memory they contain to construct an accurate portrait of a society and an age.” Much of his work includes a green screen, on which he films individuals interacting with. The green screen is then removed, and the individuals are then projected onto other surfaces such as buildings. Canogar’s work includes the usage of lights and projection.


Canogar has also made a piece titled “Dial M for Murder” utilizing the magnetic VHS tape from the film. The result are latticed criss-crossed lines in which a video animation is projected onto them, forming a 3.5 minute video loop where the animation appears to move along the lines. The piece was inspired by Saul Bass’ credits in Hitchcock’s films.


David Canogar’s work has a technological/design connection to Hitchcock’s films. His piece titled “Dial M for Murder” is directly encouraged by Saul Bass’ credits. Canogar’s usage of lighting and projection could also be related to other Hitchcock films.

Canogar, Daniel. “Daniel Canogar – Artist Statement.” Daniel Canogar. N.p., 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

Imitating the Cinema Culture of the 1940s to 1950s through Film Stills

Cindy Sherman displays the expressions of multiple females through her work from the 1980s and she states that much of her influence comes from the movies that were pictured during the 1940s or 50s.  As well as expressing dramatic emotions through her work Sherman uses shadows and vantage points to illustrate her work.  The effect that the shadows mixed with the close ups and expressions of various women adds to the mysterious loom that Hitchcock accomplished through his films.

Here is an example of a piece of art which seems to directly relate to one of Hitchcock Presents episodes; The Slaughter of the Lamb:

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Thinking back to the episode the style and surroundings in the photograph really do impersonate Hitchcock’s style.  Another good photo of Cindy Sherman resembles the opening scene in Marnie taking place next to a highway with a woman holding a bag.

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Sherman uses similar techniques that Hitchcock used in his films to capture mysterious situations.  Looking at her other work during the 1980s you can see the similar themes that Hitchcock achieved through his films.  Sherman however, is making fun of the cinematic culture in some ways but still resembling Hitchcock in his ironic humor.

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Cindy Sherman Film Still

Here is a photo that emphasize expression, shadow, and mystery:


Film Still






Comtemporary Art

A photo from the Feature Film

I am going to describe the artist, Douglas Gordon and his work. Gordon is a Scottish artist and won the Turner Prize in 1996. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. His specific style centers around repetition and memory. He often uses material from the public realm. He also plays with the element of time and uses multiple monitors. He worked on the movie Psycho by using time. He slowed down the movie so it would last 24 hours. He made a film called Feature Film. The film includes the score that was in Hitchcock’s Vertigo. He tends to take ideas from other films and incorporate them into his movies. He uses the famous scene in Taxi Driver where the character breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the camera. He also is quite a photographer.

Shower updated

Robert Whitman’s Shower was an installation piece created in the year 1964. It was inspired by the famous Psycho directed by  Hitchcock. Whitman’s piece depicted the famous shower murder of Marion Crane  played by  (Janet Leigh)  in the end of act 1.  Robert Whitman created an installation piece depicting the back of a woman taking a shower with her back turned to the audience,  this is an allusion to Psycho. The work It saw led me to buy  a shower curtain and mat that changes to look as if it is covered in blood as if you were stabbed and bled out when in contact with moisture.

Whitman began to create installations that linked objects with film images such as a woman showering. He was an artist that experimented ( like Hitchcock )  with the technology available. He eventually even created his one experimental art firm. Sadly, I couldn’t appreciate the whole piece since I can only get snippets of it, however, it makes one think.



David George, Shadows of Doubt, 2011

The piece of art I was assigned to analyze in conjunction with Hitchcock’s work was David George’s Shadows of Doubt, presented in 2011.


The art itself obviously appears to be directly inspired by Hitchcock’s film Shadow of a Doubt, though the artist itself cites the director’s tumultuous childhood, primarily spent in the East End of London. The shadows in the portrait and the architecture reminds one of the eerie, shadowy, distrustful buildings in the movie, and also alludes to the effect Hitchcock’s childhood had on him psychologically and on his films. Hitchcock was intrigued by Freud’s psychoanalysis theories, particularly the idea that our feelings and behavior as adults are primarily influenced by the experiences we have had in our childhood, so it would not be a stretch of logic to assume that George attempted the reflect this in the photograph. This photograph in particular invokes a sense of unease in the viewer, much like the emotions evoked when the protagonist of the film Shadow of a Doubt, Charlie, was running amongst the shadowy buildings of her town towards the looming presence of the library, where she would discover the true nature of her uncle.

When one looks at the haggard architecture and looming height of the buildings photographed, one gets a sense of danger, something Hitchcock always strove to invoke in his viewers. The elements of film noir as evoked by these photographs are evident as well – in the film itself one gets a strong sense of the genre through every camera shot. Shadows are essential to the genre, as they are to the emotion George is trying to emit through these photographs.

David George does an excellent job of evoking not only the feelings of the original film, but the inspiration behind that film and other films made by the evidently tortured Hitchcock.

Palle Torsson, Evil Interiors, 2003

Palle Torsson’s art was a recration of evil interiors from some of the key horror films in history. For instance, he used scenes from the home in Clockwork Orange, the hotel corridor in the Shining, the empty warehouse in Resevoir Dogs,  Hannibal Lecter’s cage from Silence of the Lambs, and Hitchcock’s Pyscho’s motel room.  In his earlier works such as Minus Porn, Sam and Pippi Palle Torsson´s interest lies in the scene – constituted here by the viewer and the interior. Whereas Hitchcock interest lies with the viewer and the screen. Torsson feel that, “Examples of scenes are movies, computer games or even a Sunday dinner with your family. A scene is a limited piece of the world, one you have to enter with faith and acceptance, otherwise the theatrical disappears and the scene loses its meaning. Then we will only see boring graphics instead of a game or we will see the violence without the context.”The scene demands the viewer’s submission and in Evil Interiors the viewer´s position is changed through the reduced scene shown through his artwork. Ultimately Torsson’s artwork shows Hitchcock’s legacy, by manipulating the audience to get a specific reaction just as Hitchcock did with his films. November 23, 2014untitled Torsson’s Pyscho scene replication.

2 Spellbound and 4 Vertigo by Les LeVeque

Les LeVeque, a NY based former sculptor, has taken two beloved Hitchcock classics and turned them into contemporary short films. LeVeque uses simple algorithms and computer interface to develop these shorts, and in some of his other works, encourages political and social activism through this unique medium. However, in these two videos, LeVeque attempts to push the boundaries of artistic expression through Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945) and Vertigo (1958).

Critic Patricia Zimmermann explains that “in 2 Spellbound (1999), LeVeque condenses Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945) into a 7 1/2 minute flickering Rorschach test by extracting a single frame from every second of the original film in a linear fashion–from Hitchcock’s opening sequence to the copyright warning” (Zimmermann). The short is given a soundtrack of electronic music that fits the pace of the flashing images, with excerpts of dialogue like the words “hallucination” or “charming diagnosis.” One can see a LeVeque influence on the music video for Wax Tailor’s 2005 song “Que Sera,” which features clips from Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and the song itself, which is electronic, features clips of Doris Day singing “Que Sera” from The Man Who Knew Too Much in its refrain.

Alternatively, in his 2000 short 4 Vertigo, LeVeque uses a slightly different algorithm to alter Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In this short, LeVeque still uses the same Rorschach-like element, but also flips the clips upside down, so it seems as if they are spinning in a circle. What LeVeque does change about this short is that the soundtrack is not original music, but is actually an edited version of the original Vertigo soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann, giving this short a much more eerie and chaotic feel.



A “Woman on the Run”… From What?

“[Tracey] Snelling, an artist based in Oakland, Calif., intricately combines architecture, scale modeling, video, photography and 3-D storytelling into a multimedia narrative of an ill-fated woman, replete with old Hollywood glamour and the suspense of a vintage Alfred Hitchcock film.” (Ivonne Rovira)

In her beautiful, interactive piece, Snelling utilizes classic Hitchcock Suspense artfully.  As one walks through the piece, it is as if they are watching one of he Master of Suspense’s films; the further into the exhibit one goes, the more their learn about the crime this woman is running from.  The viewers themselves become detectives as they work through the entirety of the exhibit to discover the story.  With her art, Snelling has made a living, breathing, interactive Hitchcock movie.  The exhibit changes every time it moves venues, which allows Snelling to keep her Hitchcock homage suspenseful every time a patron walks through it.


The arts Ft. Hitch

Hitchcock and Contemporary Art

Pierre Huyghe is really zeroing in on the scene from Rear Window in which James Stewart is staring out his window, and Huyghe really captures Hitchcock’s motif of the camera. I think Huyghe is interested in the idea of just watching the world go by. Understanding a man without ever having met him, looking at his habits and day-to-day life. The idea that by simply observing the world go by, your world goes by. Time will speed by if one lets it. The fact that James Stewart gazes upon the outside is almost like a world similar but yet parallel to his. hitch 3

Victor Burgin and Hitchcock

Victor Burgin and his art definitely made its way into Hitchcock’s films, most popularly into his most praised film, Vertigo. Burgin, who also was an England native, had a tremendous impact and influence on multiple Alfred Hitchcock films. Burgin also worked with Salvador Dali to help create the infamous dream sequence that appeared in the Hitchcock film Spellbound.


victor burgin

Vertigo Hitchcock

eye dali