PRINT December 2008

Sarah Morris's Beijing

WHAT INTERESTS ME ABOUT BEIJING is that it’s not resolved in any way,” says artist Sarah Morris, looking at a monitor in her studio, on which clips from her upcoming film, titled after the city, are playing. “Or, more precisely, that China is a paradoxical state. Is it hypercapitalist? Yes. Is the government a supreme authority? Yes. It’s not yet certain what the country will become, and so today it is not even clear just what we are seeing when, for instance, we look at something like Rem Koolhaas’s tower for China Central Television.” Morris has executed cinematic portraits of urban landscapes in the past, skimming their architectures and cultural scenes—from the sidewalks and skyscrapers of Manhattan to the red carpets and surgical theaters of Los Angeles—to compose chains of discrete, nonlinear episodes, many of which suggest unprecedented access to the back corridors of overmediated

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