Under the Cement, Sediment: Recent Video In and Around China

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 6 p.m. | Curator Pablo de Ocampo in person!

Still from “Factory” (Chen Chieh-Jen, 2003). Image courtesy the artist.
Still from “Factory” (Chen Chieh-Jen, 2003). Image courtesy the artist.

In Yang Zhenzhong’s 2003 video Spring Story, a group of 1,500 employees at a Siemens factory recite an oft-cited line from a 1992 Deng Xiaoping speech: “A planned economy is not equivalent to socialism, because there is planning under capitalism too; a market economy is not capitalism, because there are markets under socialism too.” This speech is now seen as a milestone in the creation of China’s new hybrid economy, which embraces both socialist and free enterprise forces. Curated and introduced by Pablo de Ocampo, Artistic Director of the Images Festival in Toronto, the works in this program examine the country’s recent political and economic transformations through its urban and industrial landscape. Additional pieces include Chen Chieh-Jen’s haunting Factory (2003), shot in an abandoned textile factory with its former employees re-enacting their work amidst the ruins; Oliver Husain’s Swivel (2005), which consists of a continuous panning shot of a hyper developed and glossy Shanghai; and Zhao Liang’s City Scene (2005), which captures street life in Beijing in a series of short vignettes. Multiple artists, 2003-05, Canada/China/Germany/Taiwan, multiple formats, ca. 90 min.

PABLO DE OCAMPO (1976, Phoenix, AZ) lives in Toronto, Canada, where he is the Artistic Director of the Images Festival, Canada’s largest platform for the exhibition of experimental and innovative film and video art practice. Prior to his post at Images, de Ocampo resided in Portland, Oregon, where co-founded the experimental film screening series Cinema Project and was the Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

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