Few images come closer to reality than those recorded by surveillance cameras. In China, a country with strict film censorship, an estimated 200 million such cameras have been installed to capture life unfiltered; mundane daily activities are mixed with dramatic events beyond the realm of imagination. Visual artist Xu Bing’s first feature film stitches together surveillance footage collected from the Internet to create a fictional tale about a young woman traversing life in modern China. The result is a provocative tale as mundane, surreal, and outlandish as reality itself. Known for works that consistently disrupt our understanding of what we see—from Book from the Sky, an installation of books and scrolls with printed “fake” Chinese characters, to Phoenix, giant phoenix sculptures made of salvaged materials—Xu persistently explores the relationship between vision and meaning.
Organized by La Frances Hui, Associate Curator, Department of Film.
Support for the exhibition is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation and Steven Tisch, with major contributions from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), Yuval Brisker Charitable Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.