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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cao Fei: i.Mirror

(published in New World Notes)

A movie made by Cao Fei (using her avatar name: China Tracy). I found in New World Notes an enthusiastic presentation, but I also suggest you watch i.Mirror having in mind Deeparture, the movie of Mircea Cantor. Here is a comparison between the two artists (the author is Doryun Chong, from the Minneapolis Walker Art Center):

Cantor’s nearly three-hour Deeparture (2005) is as severely economical in its setup as it is intense in its poetic potential... [Cao’s video], in contrast, is highly cinematic, condensing an entire narrative arc—albeit without spoken words... It is also frenetic and colorful, unlike Cantor’s strict and structuralist piece. If Deeparture is powerful because it is an anti-spectacle, the pleasure of [Ms. Cao's film] derives from its unapologetic spectacle. The two artists indeed come from highly contrasting lineages: while Cantor, a new-generation European conceptualist, looks toward older figures such as Joseph Beuys and Bruce Nauman, Cao seems to have more affinities with transnational popular culture and new Chinese cinema. With interests that range from labor conditions in Eastern Europe to post-communist ideology in contemporary Chinese mega-capitalism, the two artists similarly exhibit an acute awareness of a world in which rapid transformations and remnants of the past constantly collide and mingle. Cantor’s nonnarrative work is a highly complex architectonic of gazes of desire and apprehension, fear and alienation. These emotions and psychic reactions unexpectedly match those found in Cao’s piece.

i.Mirror - 1/3
(video by ChinaTracy)

i.Mirror - 2/3
(video by ChinaTracy)

i.Mirror - 3/3
(video by ChinaTracy)

(Cao Fei)


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