Maja Bajevic, I Wish I Was Born in a Hollywood Movie, 2006, web project



I Wish I Was Born

Maja Bajevic’s I Wish I was Born in a Hollywood Movie presents images of locations reminiscent of cinema noir – melancholic and bleak, yet compelling. Bajevic set out to contemplate the impact of the “dream machine” by weaving together this collection of scenes that serve as real-world counterpoints to Hollywood’s glamorized representations of life.

…In I Wish I Was Born in a Hollywood Movie Bajevic presents photographic images she took in Mexico City, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Venice, Sarajevo, and elsewhere. In contrast to images of the kind found in tourist brochures, she sought out places reminiscent of scenes from cinema noir: morose exteriors, gritty interiors with fixtures in various states of decay, bleak stairwells, windows without views, stained walls, and more — “sad” as Bajevic described them, yet somewhat paradoxically, also “nostalgic.” A soundtrack of a recorded street musician plays throughout, punctuated by occasional sound effects, including the sound of knocking, planes flying overhead, breaking glass, and a creaking door hinge.

As visitors to the website click to explore the project, the images overlay each other, presenting multiple paths through which to navigate the work. Some layers move while others transition through dissolves and lighting effects, creating a low-tech kind of animation. Layers are presented much like windows in an operating system, with the ubiquitous “X” in the upper right corner signifying the method to close. Images of actual windows appear at multiple junctures. According to the artist, “they are internet windows and images of windows that make an overlaying of reality and fiction, like in the filmic/real layers of the web site”…  Sara Tucker