Curated by: Cristiana Perrella
Two museums together for the first solo show in Italy of one of the most innovative and visionary artists on the international art scene. In December 2021, Supernova, an exhibition dedicated to Cao Fei (1978, Guangzhou, lives in Beijing), opens at the same time as the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome and the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato. moves between real and virtual, documentation and fiction, memory and the time to come, marking the accelerated transition from millenary traditions to a hyper-technological future that has characterized China, but which affects, in various ways, our entire planet.
Through its two locations, the exhibition presents a very broad survey of the artist's work, starting from works created at the beginning of his career up to the last production, deepening the main themes such as the impact of the technological revolution on our lives , the man-machine relationship, the construction of the self in the age of virtuality.
Curated by Cristiana Perrella, Cao Fei. Supernova at the Pecci Center will focus in particular on the vision of the near future read through the transformations affecting the world of work. Starting from the accelerated modernization experienced by China, the "factory of the world" set to become the greatest technological power on the planet, the work of Cao Fei bears a testimony and a vision on the impact of the transformation processes that reconfigure both production and the life of the workers. The exhibition starts with the multimedia installation Asia One (2018), based on a film set in the world's first fully automated sorting center in Kunshan, in the province of Jiangsu in China. Also on display at the Pecci Center is Whose Utopia (2006), a video and a photographic series on the lives of the workers of the Osram lighting products factory, in an area outside Hong Kong, a place of national migration by people seeking increased job opportunities in the country's burgeoning economy; Milkman (2005), a pseudo-documentary that explores the harsh everyday reality and fantasies of escape through the virtual worlds of the working class in China, and the installation Rumba 01 and 02 (2016), where two robot vacuum cleaners with their movements spasmodic and aimless, they reflect the conditions of many people today: feeling adrift, struggling within a strictly delineated range of activities, struggling to find an escape.