MoMA presents a screening program of work by Chinese artist Cao Fei in conjunction with the opening of the MoMA PS1 exhibition Cao Fei, her first comprehensive solo museum show in the U.S. Mixing social commentary, popular culture, documentary conventions, and Surrealist impulses in her films and installations, the artist initiates multimedia projects that investigate the experiences of young Chinese citizens coming to terms with the rapidly shifting features of their reality, both physical and virtual.
This evening’s screenings span the past two decades of Cao Fei's creative output, including excerpts from several of her most important works: Cosplayers (2004), a portrait of adolescent fantasists who, by day, romp around the artist's hometown of Guangzhou dressed as fairy princesses or lethal warriors, and by night, live in close quarters with their aging relatives; Whose Utopia? (2006), which documents performances by workers at a lighting factory in China's Pearl River Delta region, in which the laborers wildly role-play their personal fantasies; RMB City (2007–11), a trip through the participatory metropolis Cao built and operated on the 3-D virtual world-building platform Second Life; the magical realist zombie film Haze and Fog (2013); and the artist's most recent large-scale film project, La Town (2014), a neo-noir about a mythical, post-apocalyptic city forgotten by time, but nonetheless animated by the political scandals, torrid love affairs, and environmental disasters that typify contemporary life. In the artist's words, "I try to find different ways to connect and interact with society. At the same time, I am trying to construct a new model of society." The artist will be joined for a conversation with Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, MoMA.