Unknown City
Pingshan Art Museum
X Museum Triennial
Architecture Model Museum

Black Maria

“Sweet dream / waking up is a sweeter dream / from the moment of birth / imprisoned by the Creator in this black prison car / buried by snow in the lookout hotel / is a labyrinth where no red line can be found / in the bet of Morpheus / the green of spring / is the cradle of all reality.” “Black Maria” is the first film studio invented by Thomas Edison in 1897, which means “black prison car” in English. We adopt this name to indicate the borrowing of tools in film and, on the other hand, to suggest the humane dilemma of voluntarily being prisoned by the system. We want to use the model as a metaphor for the alienated relationship between systemic people and the supply system. “Black Maria” is an allegory of a space that is “not what it seems,” a space dedicated to producing falsehood. The model is a three-story wrap-around structure whose core is a green screen room with a crib. The green screen technique, a common postproduction technique in film, is a false vehicle for the environment. The vehicle relies on a complex infrastructure supply system. The room is the terminal of such a machine supply system, concealed within the façade derived from the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining, where the writer‘s family is imprisoned. Nowadays, the facade has increasingly become a set. Compared to those explored in the 70s, the new set of green screens is far more extreme. It creates an ultimate space using computer synthesis to collage three-dimensional analog signals to simulate all the environmental possibilities in two dimensions. Even if deceptive, this scenic existence provided by the system is irresistible. “Black Maria” questions authenticity.

Project Information Project Type: Art Project Location: Beijing, Shenzhen Principal Artist: Zigeng Wang Completion: 2019 Design Team: Yijie Chen, Pengfei Zhao, Fangda Zhou Dimension: 20 x 55 x 100 cm Commission: “Unknown City: Exhibition Art of Architecture, Installation and Image in Contemporary China” X Museum Triennial

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