Art baffles me and I won’t hold any pretensions regarding my understanding of the finer points of art including piece names and famous artists…so the fact that last night I found myself within the walls of the campus art-gallery is quite something. In support of this odd happening you must know that I’m probably one of the only people to wander through Europe without making a conscious effort at visiting galleries in search of famous works.
I don’t get art of the paint/object variety…but I seem to fare better with films. It was a NFB projects so I guess that makes it kind of art…although whenever I think of NFB the Hinterland Who’s Who edumercials come to mind.
These bits were a classic part of my childhood television viewing experience.
Anyways – what I did go see at the art gallery was a film that I was amazed (and embarrassed) that I had never heard of before; given its massive China content.
Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscapes. A silent and non-judgemental look at large industrial landscapes through film and photographs.
Burtynsky allocated about 10-15 minutes on Shanghai and I found it very interesting that he choose not to film the standard Pudong or Puxi (The Bund) landscapes but choose instead to concentrate on Shanghai’s seemingling endless skyline of apartment blocks and office towers. With the absense of Shanghai’s signature views the city could almost pass as any other Chinese metropolis.
A warning would be not to view this film if you are rather tired as there is little dialoge.