monumental

1-channel-video installation / HD-Video, 11.30min

2019

In the middle of the Mongolian steppe, in a region without water, without trees, a city for at least one million people was built within 10 years. "New Ordos" was supposed to be the Dubai of China, but no one came to settle it. Like the film backdrop of a sci-fi dystopia, monuments and glowing skyscrapers tower above the earth, telling the story of the Earth's origins right up to Genghis Khan's warlike conquest. Wide streets are lined with sculptures that transport past messages and tell of a culture that a 10-year-old city cannot tell. People who could admire and inhabit those monumental buildings seem to have been erased or perhaps have never been there. Fully automated and without any human intervention, the staging of a historical legacy seems to be digitally programmed into the surface of the city. Fountains dance, videos flicker on facades, music echoes across wide squares. Nature is bounded by concrete. Anna Baranowski scans this deserted place cinematically and shows a post-apocalyptic-like scenery in which only monuments report human history. The viewer is thus not only the last survivor of a lost society, but also the first visitor to a place that is waiting for the start of its future.

 © 2019 by Anna Baranowski

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