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Rehearsal For A Film

Rehearsal For A Film is a research method, deployed to explore the practice of an everyday "becoming" in a city proliferated with low cost plastic goods. Shot in Yiwu, the  largest centre for trade in small commodities in the world, Rehearsal For A Film excavates the malleable mimesis of plastic as it shapes contemporary life.

Yiwu, a county-level city in Zhejiang province (China) is deceptively banal in comparison with cities like Beijing and Shanghai. However, beneath its ordinariness, lies an intriguing and fascinating city which serves as one of the crucial nodes of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative. Spread over several kilometres, Futian Market in Yiwu holds a total of 70,000 shops selling 1.7 million different types of small commodities (approximately). Sometimes described as the Christmas capital of the world, Yiwu has become a second home to traders from all over the global South, and the streets of Yiwu house a polyphony of ethnicities, nationalities, languages, cuisines, and culture- all jostling for the latest good or a better price- and Yiwu has, in recent times, come to exemplify a “grassroots cosmopolitanism” and “globalization from below”.

Rehearsal For A Film was shot in Futian Market and a local street market where local Yiwunese encounter international traders between 2014-15. When I went back to the city in the summer of 2019, the street market was nonexistent.  Rehearsal For A Film became an archive of this temporary urban formation that had created room for a diverse, cosmopolitan future.

Technical details:  2015 | single channel | stereo | colour | 21' | looped


Film Still: Rehearsal For A Film, 2015


Installation view: Rehearsal For A Film | Frise Kunstlerhaus Altona, Hamburg 2015 | Photo: Lawrence Liang

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