Thursday, April 12, 2012

Li Xiaofei – Chinese video and installation artist visits Sweden.

Li XiaoFei, A Sales Manager, Audio / Color / HD / PAL / 08:12mins / 2012 (Chinese, English subtitles)

Within the framework of an extensive film exchange between Sweden and China the Chinese artist Li Xiaofei will visit Stockholm, Linköping and Norrköping in May.

He will hold artist's talks and show some recent work from Shanghai and New York at:

-KSM, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, May  2, kl. 19 i ateljé 2 plan 6 i Kåkenhus

- Candyland in Stockholm, May 4, 7pm.

Li Xiaofei builds his artistic practice on interviews and gives voice to unexpected people in unusual situations. In New York, he interviewed children about their view on the city that opened a space that was interesting mix of their own emerging values and rehashed adult outlook on life. He also allowed the manager in charge of the New York sewage treatment plant to talk. While listening to the description of the urban sewage treatment system by the person, we went underneath the skin of the city to see the blood flowing slowly through its body. Some unknown things were revealed mysteriously while some mysterious things became clear.

In a series of films about factories in China, France and Sweden, Li Xiaofei takes a humanistic look at the cold and inhumane world of the factory. The work explores how work has become the new collective – one that consumes and defines the private life of the individual.

Repetitive, solid, mechanical, lacking in emotions – these are all the characteristics which we will find in an assembly line, but what we are missing is the noises of the machines and the workers which can be picked out by the careful listener. The assembly line must run without a hitch, and it’s crucial that one operation doesn’t over produce – it’s like a relay race, one process follows on the heels of the other – that’s the way to maximize production. It’s true that assembly line work is essentially an intense and stifling job, which pays little attention to pleas or requests of the workers, it’s because of the industrial attitude of workers and foremen: serious and single minded. Still, we enjoy the fruits of contemporary technology, we are eating, wearing and using products from thousands of assembly lines. The assembly line essentially doesn’t require creativity – it’s just a phase in the operation process. Apart from that, the other things that happen to the worker – life, reality, the bitterness and the beauty, can coincidentally be viewed right on the factory floor.

The project is supported by Statens kulturråd and Östsam.

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