Reality Film

04_15_Scene_Reality FilmIf you walked into a cinema to find your common-day life on screen, would you then notice the little things slipping between rushing footsteps? Would you notice that the window’s reflection of twilight is beautiful? From March 18, to June 18, a concept art installation is designed to connect the public with the experience every day.

It works by stepping into one of three 12-meter-long, makeshift cinemas to peer out a broad, screen-shaped window. As daily life passes by, well-known film scores support a plot that develops in the moment with a camera capturing audience reaction from the back of the room, while that camera’s footage will be kept as a surprise.

Dutch artist Job Koelewijn once convinced an art gallery to cut a hole in its wall as an exhibit of reality, but after two years of complaints from gallery stakeholders, he turned down invitations from other museums to do the same.

Instead, he sliced a broad opening into a container on wheels. Swiss artist and curator Klaus Littmann later joined with improvements to the original concept and together they have toured five Swiss cities from 2010 to 2012 before last month’s Chinese debut in Dongguan.

Dutch artist Job Koelewijn once convinced an art gallery to cut a hole in its wall …

The crucial element is the music, which “gives the movie a new dimension,” said Littmann. While they say the project has neither linguistic nor cultural boundaries, famous Chinese soundtracks were added in hopes for a more personal connection complimenting the new locations and weather conditions.

During a chauffeured tour around downtown, Littman chose locations after witnessing movement and action of people and cars outside of Yulan Theater, compared to spots like the east gate at People’s Park. There he said, senior citizens were sitting in wheelchairs all day long. While at the entrance of Dongcheng Walking Street he saw a film scene. “It was not like I try to say this is typical Chinese, because everything is typical Chinese here,” Littmann said. “For me it’s only important to have different characters—crowded or peaceful.” The exhibit can be seen at the Lingnan Museum of Fine Arts as well.

With sponsorship from ArtsRouge International, an organization based in Dongguan promoting artistic exchange, the project has gained government support. “I realize the government really wants to have responsibility to install Dongguan as a very good city in the culture,” Littmann said. The cinema will open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until June 18. Then they travel to other Pearl River Delta cities before heading to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou next year.