About 2010 Cinema
The space in which 2010 Cinema takes place was not predetermined. Rather, it was an outgrowth of the participating artists' moving image practice. This cinematicspace not only show the artists' film, it also is a dynamic reflection of how their creative process of moving image practice could shape the space. Without the artists' film production, the “production of space” could not exist. As the space inspires the artists' practice as well, the interaction between the practice of space and moving image will be constantly shifting and moving on.
2010 Cinema: The Background
2010 Cinema was born from the dynamic fact that: an increasing number of the artists within Asian context (Cao Fei, Chen Chieh-jen,Jun Yang, Ming Wong, Yang Fudongect.) have boldly practiced filmmaking from the open entry of contemporary art context, introducing concepts and practices far removed from those of the traditional film industry. As a result, contemporary art has the opportunity to leave behind familiar exhibition spaces and production methods and enter previously unexplored territory. A number of film directors as well (such as ApichatpongWeerasethakul, Ming-liang Tsaiect.) are utilizing multidisciplinary techniques to explore questions of expression in contemporary art. The influence of contemporary cinema and traditional film on contemporary art has consequently become an indispensable dimension of art appreciation.
What is particularly notable is this: the development of moving image practices in the Chinese and Asian environment is one that is beyond the system of mainstream film production. It is not meant to be something produced in the mould of film aesthetics; rather it is an act of contemporary art creation that uses the image as a foundation for reflection. It endeavours to dismantle the privileges accorded to film "history"; it is often related to the artists' investigation into and reconstitution of historical memory (of a country or the individual), or to their examination of how this world can be "possibly conceived" through images. From here, the image then frees itself from the filmic network, and extends itself towards an individual journey. By dint of this new concept of the image, we depart from familiar form, structure, perceptions, exhibition spaces and production systems, thus allowing the visual that is ultimately generated to be directed towards the exploration of the possibility of what Deleuze refers to as "movement-image".
The exhibition space for 2010 Cinema consists of three different cinematic spaces (the Film Installation, the Black Box for single film,and the Living Room for series of video programs) and aGarden that contains film archives and literary materials. Together, they form a multi-functional complex of cinema. This space was developed after analyzing traditional movie theaters and exploring new options for exhibiting, studying, and distributing artist-produced films. By breaking down the boundaries between the film industry and the art gallery system, 2010 Cinema considers how spaces and structures can be a dynamic reflection of the artists' creative process, and therefore cannot be considered separately from the films and videos it contains. It is a fundamental element of the viewer's experience, offering full interactivity and unconstrained viewing. The viewer can wander freely through the garden and three theaters, encountering a wide range of cinematic works. The viewer is encouraged to contemplate and internalize the works in a nonlinear fashion, encouraging a new experience of time and space. The acts of viewing and being viewed are no longer unilateral experiences but rather occur simultaneously, mutually contributing to a continually renewing cinematic experience.
Cinema Programming for May – July 2010
The Black Box
Cao Fei, Live in RMB City, 2009
China Tracy is the Second Life avatar of artist Cao Fei. China Tracy experiences daily life in the virtual world with an artist's benevolent eye, travelling, making friends, exploring the city, shopping, making love … She may be living the life of a drifter, like so many people in the real world, but luckily for us China Tracy records her wanderings, crafting them into a series of virtual films about Second Life known as mechinima. But even the techniques of mechinima can't fully illuminate a world that is a real-time mirror image of the Self – a world that is infinitely reflective, continually intensifying, fraught with lag, and inherently transformative.
In her film Live in RMB City (2009), China Tracy takes her child China Sun on a tour through RMB City, a world that she has been creating in Second Life since 2007. Although named after the renminbi, the "People's Currency," this city has no relation to cold hard cash. It is concerned only with cultural memories and the process of creation. Its residents aren't beseiged with unaffordable high-rise buildings; they aren't forced to live the nightmare of forced relocation. They are free to dream and to create as they please.
As China Tracy and her child make their way through RMB City, they visit the city's underground passageways, its art museum, city hall, urban village, an oracle shop, artificial mountains, and ocean beaches. They encounter the Mayor, the Four Great Beauties, a writer, Uncle Mars, a musician, and a fengshui master. In the process, they delve into the secrets of living in the virtual world and the meaning of life.
It is worth noting that although RMB City is a city of the imagination, it has been given "reality" through its construction in the virtual world. The new reality thus created has totally subverted the passive nature of the mirror universe.
RMB City is exceptional in that it has carved out a space where the real world and Second Life meet and merge. This is not a traditional high-tech, visually oriented, one-way online game. Rather, it offers the interactive experience of building a city and experiencing life in that city. This process alters people's perceptions and reaches deep into their hearts. It has transformed the definition of a city, turning it into a play with no final curtain, a novel constantly adding chapters, a TV series that will never be cancelled.
At the moment that RMB City first came into being, a silently waiting lifestream started its inexorable flow towards the future.
The Film Installation
Jun Yang, A Short Story About Remembering and Forgetting, 2009
Jun Yang's 2010 Cinema film installation evolved from his Paris Syndrome project. Paris Syndrome explored the culture shock that occurs when dreams, artificiality, images, and hope collide with the real world. Jun Yang now turns his gaze to southern China, where ceramic tile is often used to finish the exterior of buildings. Originally reserved for interior rooms such as bathrooms, this decorative building material has migrated to the outside, where it has come to represent both wealth and taste. It is just this type of transformative use of materials that interests Jun Yang. His 2010 Cinema installation explores the nebulous space at the intersection of practical experience and conceptual thought, where surface can become content and dream and reality may converge. Using ceramic tile, wallpaper, and house plants, Jun Yang has fabricated a livable private space inside a crowded public venue. He entices the viewer to enter this potential home, only to be immersed in a film that embodies the urban experience.
A Short Story About Remembering and Forgetting is a 16mm short film shot in Taipei. Filmed entirely at night, it reflects "night aesthetics" of Asian cities explored in the works of directors such as Hou Hsiao-hsien,EdwardYang,WongKarWai and Ming-liangTsai. The young protagonist wanders through Taipei in the depths of night, climbing onto rooftops of varying heights to gaze out over the city lights. The route he follows hints at Taipei's evolving urban space and political situation. At the same time, his voice-over lays bare his musings and confusion about the "portability of memory" – for an individual, a city, a country whose history has been rewritten, what is real and what is imaginary? And when the real and the imaginary come together, do they merge or do they vanish?
The Living Room
Hu Xiangqian, The Sun, 2008
Lu Chunsheng, A Square Loaded with Nuclear Power Is Going to America, 2007
Zhou Tao, 1234, 2007
Xu Tan, Speech and Yi Shi, 2009
The homey atmosphere of the Living Room encourages a more intimate connection with video works that usually are restricted to exhibition halls. Entering a room delineated by stretchy white fabric, viewers can sit or recline at their leisure while they absorb the images presented in the home setting of TV and digtal frames. In this way, the viewing experience becomes part of the viewer's personal experience and everyday life. The Living Room's first video program explores the relationship between private and public space and individual and collective consciousness. The bold and unconstrained nature of these works opens up even more room for discussion.