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Max Payne Cheats Only

Max Payne Cheats Only concludes a series of video game appropriations by the Dutch-Belgian artist duo Jodi. The existing figure of Max Payne – the third person shooter – is dismantled and reconstituted into a meaningless juxtaposition of repetitive microtreatments, following all rules of programming art. The constant looking over one’s shoulder for a possible enemy, the repeated wild swinging with a baseball bat or the constant firing of a pump gun have the appearance of an internal fight with oneself, since there are many close-ups and hardly any enemy is seen on the deserted battlefield. Not only is the game world literally depicted on its head and shown at 180 degrees; the repetitive sequence of programmer commands that undermine the game is also displayed time and again at a meta-level above the game. 

The fragmentation of the game corresponds to a systematic undermining of the 3D animated game character, an empty shell through whom we can always peer. The gutting of the character’s body is followed by the dissolution of spatial boundaries, which renders walls and floors permeable, so that the fighter literally has no surface and no friction from which to carry out an attack.

(Text: Bettina Back)  

Artist: Jodi
Title: Max Payne Cheats Only
Year: 2004
Format: Video, Software, Web Game, Computerspiel
Material / Technology: DVD
Duration: 23' / 30'
Dimension: Variable
Acquisition: Permanent loan from the Digital Art Collection, Basel (Annette Schindler and Reinhard Storz), 2017. Inv. No. S0032.
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