“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Snow: Sherman Foundation

I'm staying at Sherman Cottage, a part of the Sherman Foundation, in Paddington, Sydney. It's not every day that you're able to walk across the street into your landlord's art gallery and sit on a huge bean bag in the pitch dark to watch eight screens displaying Yang Fudong's No Snow on the Broken Bridge.

The piece is making me think about cinema and time. You want there to be a story, and you keep on trying to piece together the eight screens as your eye flits between them. The people move slowly through the parkland around a stately Chinese home. A drop of water ripples in a pool. A boat glides across a lake. A woman looks with unblinking eyes.

Then you start to wonder: is this just my mind that is projecting a story? What if there is no story? The movie becomes more and more uncanny. I love it.

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