18 May 2019 - 19 May 2019

Imagining the city

Video gallery
curated by Hou Hanru, Donatella Saroli

A radical and original look at cities and individuals caught in their vibrant, absurd, and dreamlike realities.

On the occasion of the exhibition The Street. Where the world is made, the Museum’s video gallery, thanks to the support of In Between Art Film, hosts a screening program focused on the themes of urban transformation, the creation of imaginary worlds, of the public space as the place of the everyday life and of the protest. Three short festivals, each one introduced by a debate between international artists, scholars and curators that will describe the genesis and evolution of the videos on display.

Screening programme:
Sam Samore Hallucinations/Paradise, 69′ – 2010 (English with no subtitles)
Cao Fei La Town, 42′ – 2014 (French with English Subtitles)
Huang Wei Kai Disorder: Now is the future of the past, 58′ – 2009 (English with no subtitles)
Cao Fei, Ou  Ning San Yuanli, 45′ – 2003


Hallucinations/Paradise
In Hallucinations/Paradise Sam Samore, a NY based artist whose work is concerned with the exploration of privacy and myth in contemporary society follows the love story of three couples during the  24 hours of their first meeting. Shanghai becomes a backdrop for the ritual of love, misunderstandings, hallucinations and everyday life.


La Town
Cao Fei – internationally renowned artist based in China – concocts a new globalized and post-apocalyptic urban scenario. She does it by evoking Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, Mon Amour and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, yet the outcome has the recognizable Cao Fei signature.  A mesmerizing and original portrait of the best and worst that our species can parade in a city of miniature models, with miniature people that, nevertheless, powerfully conveys the large-scale utopian aspirations and downfalls of humankind, in a visually dazzling and evocative style.


Disorder: Now is the future of the past
Composed through a variety of footage filmed by Guangzhou’s amateur videographers Huang Wei Kai’s second experimental documentary captures the absurd and vibrant underbelly of the city. Inspired by the 1920s tradition of city-symphonies Huang displays the urbanization process in China on the brink of mayhem in a radical way- men dancing in the middle of traffic, another attempting to jump from a bridge while pigs run wild on a highway and dignitaries swim in a polluted river.


San Yuanli
Directed and produced by Ou Ning and Cao Fei for the 50th Venice Biennale, the experimental documentary San Yuanli explores the paradoxes between China’s rapid economic growth and its social marginalization. Armed with video cameras, nine artists from the independent film group U-thèque, documented the “village-amidst-the-city” phenomenon taking place in the Guangzhou. The entrancing black-and-white film/poem attempts to rethink the debts of history, the confrontation and reconciliation between the process of modernization and the patriarchal clan system and rural communities system of Guangzhou.