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VHILS - REALM

Words:

Edd Norval
May 23, 2019

The latest film documenting Vhils' journey through Shanghai continues in the vein of highly conceptual and narrative-led approaches that the artist has used in recent years. Working as a collaboration with Lisbon based design studio Solid Dogma, the artist offers an insight into his work and the city that inspired it.

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Operating throughout the streets of Shanghai, Vhils and his crew were over for the artist's recent 'Realm' exhibition, from which the video takes its names, at the Danysz Gallery. Exploring 'realm' as both word and concept, sign and signifier, the film is an exploratory piece on the idea of understanding ones place and the practicality of such an endeavour in our hyper-connected world.


Shot with the immersive slow-motion and portraiture style that director José Pando Lucas has been honing with Vhils and Solid Dogma studio over the last few highly acclaimed videos, it's a sumptuous visual work. Techniques like this, and the ethereal music that circulate around the characters throughout, imbues the piece with a contemplative tone, giving the audience plenty of space to chew over the words, which are themselves, both vague and specific, depending on how easily the individual can relate.


Like the exhibition, people are explored personally, but also in street scenes, showing their lives intimately alongside life itself unfolding in real-time. As such, both artist and director have captured important aspects of dual life - two sides that we all experience with different levels of balance.


Both the artwork and the video represents the life of the Chinese people, telling one story, with one voice, that manages to speak for so many others. Watch the video above if you haven't already and follow the links to see the other videos documenting Vhils' exhibitions and travels.

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