Katie Goodwin in CMYK (or vice versa)

Edition Review

  • Katie Goodwin, Dawn of the Rainbow (2012)

  • Six-color screenprint, 47 x 57 cm. Edition of 25. Printed by Jealous Print Studio, London, published by Grey Area Multiples, Paris. €650/£500.
Katie Goodwin, Dawn of the Rainbow (2012).

Katie Goodwin, Dawn of the Rainbow (2012).

For the film Dawn of the Rainbow, Goodwin has taken the leader from The Wizard of Oz, one of the first feature films to be produced using the Technicolor “three strip” process, in which three strips of film were recorded simultaneously through red, green and blue gels, and then printed in cyan, magenta and yellow. The Wizard of Oz famously begins in sepia-tinted black and white, and breaks into color when Dorothy reaches Oz. The image for the print is taken from one frame of the leader in which the letters “C-M-Y”, each printed in its corresponding color, are layered one on top of the other to show all the possible colors made by combining cyan, magenta and yellow.

If the first historical moment referenced by the print is the invention of Technicolor, or the “dawn of the rainbow,” as Goodwin puts it, the second is the current passing of film into obsolescence with the advent of digital technology. Watching an excerpt of Goodwin’s film on my laptop, I became aware that the quality of the film, as with all material qualities, is subsumed and flattened by its digital reproduction.

As more and more cultural products are experienced through LCD screens, obsolete mass media such as paper and film become fetishized for their materiality. Both film and screenprinting are analog printing processes, in which absolute reproducibility is not possible, since each time the image is printed there are inevitably slight qualitative differences. In this print for example, as each layer is printed separately, there may be slight shifts in positioning, and the distribution of the ink will vary each time it is drawn across the screen in the printing process, contributing to each impression’s singularity.

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