“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. What do these buildings mean when they are taken out of their original contexts?
The “Window of the World” was built in the early 1990s, and its original business idea was based on the Chinese people's desire to see the world. Back then this dream was limited by political and economic obstacles. Since the park’s construction, much has changed in China and travelling abroad to the real tourist attractions has become a much more achievable dream. This park presents a Chinese perspective on the world which is touristically distorted and already dated. However, it still is a welcome backdrop for thousands of photographs every day: selfies, friends, couple-in-love, wedding or family pictures. The photos these “tourists” take are not intended for the future but for the moment, to be posted on social media. These images are produced and consumed in an instant.
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 you 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?
SIMULACRA has been supported by the University of Salford.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Clemens Wilhelm (*1980 West-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. He often works in series. His work has been exhibited in many countries and institutions.
He studied at HBK Braunschweig, Germany in the classes of Prof. Candice Breitz and Prof. Michael Brynntrup (Film Class). In 2009, he was awarded „Meisterschüler” of Prof. Candice Breitz. He was granted the KSN Northeim Scholarship 2009-2010. In 2011, he was artist in residence at Organhaus Art Space, Chongqing (China), SIM Reykjavik (Iceland) and Buitenwerkplaats (TransArtists & Pepinieres Europeennes Scholarship), Amsterdam (Netherlands). In 2012, he was artist in residence at SUMU AIR, Turku (Finland).