Film Screening + Artist Talk
Dragonfly Eyes is an 81-minute fictional movie, made entirely out of surveillance footage. It tells a story deeply rooted in today’s reality, revealing the “invisible” crises hidden in our mundane lives, and the inexplicable turns of events that lie beyond our grasp. The film reflects fragile sensibilities in our private emotions, and it mirrors how anxiety and insecurity fog our own perspective on modern live.
“I’ve wanted to make a film from surveillance footage since 2013, but I had no access to the necessary resources. Since 2015, surveillance cameras in China have been linked to the cloud database: countless surveillance recordings have been streamed online. So I took up the project again. Our team collected a huge amount of footage and tried to use these fragments of reality to tell a story.”
Following the screening, there will be a discussion with artist Xu Bing, his translator Mengna Da, and respondent Eugenie Brinkema, Associate Professor of Literature at MIT.
Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, China, in 1955. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (CAFA) in 1981 and became a teacher. He moved to the United States in 1990, and moved back to China in 2007. He currently lives and works in Beijing and New York.
Xu Bing’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the British Museum, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and National Gallery of Prague, Czech Republic. Additionally, Xu Bing has participated in the 45th, 51st, and 56th Venice Biennales, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Johannesburg Biennale, among other international exhibitions.
In 1999, Xu Bing was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his “capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.” In 2003, he was conferred the 14th Fukuoka Asian Culture Award for his “contribution to the development of Asian culture”. In 2004, he won the first Artes Mundi Prize in Wales. In 2006, the Southern Graphics Council conferred on Xu Bing its lifetime achievement award in recognition of the fact that his “use of text, language and books has impacted the dialogue of the print and art worlds in significant ways.” In 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Department of State-Medal of Arts for his efforts to promote cultural understanding through his artworks.
This event is part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS).