Clemens Wilhelm: Simulacra
16 April – 6 June 2015
Clemens Wilhelm (1980, Berlin) is a multimedia artist living in Berlin. He works mainly in video and photography. His works are conceptual and revolve around ideas of society and identity. His work has been exhibited in many countries and institutions.
SIMULACRA, exhibited at CFCCA, presented seemingly absurd moments of Chinese tourists posing in a world which seems to have shrunk. SIMULACRA was shot in the “Window of the World” Entertainment Park in Shenzhen (China) which presents 140 copies of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. A tour through the park simulates a journey around the world: the Gizeh Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, the Taj Mahal, etc. Each model’s size appears to relate to its touristic importance. European and American sights dominate the Asian, African, and Oceanian ones. What do these iconic sites mean when they are taken out of their original contexts?
The dreamy scenes of “SIMULACRA” are shot in slow-motion which increases the artificiality of this post-modern hyperreality. The film has a slow and meditative pace and invites us to ponder fundamentally disturbing questions: What does it mean to take pictures nowadays? What is the goal of tourism when you can google every image at home? Is traveling abroad to see the world and to take pictures of it still necessary? Do we need simulacra?