Italian photographer Stefano Cerio has captured ski resorts at night, empty cruise ships, drained water parks, and, most recently, the uncanny bleakness of China’s off-season amusement parks and other constructed entertainment. Chinese Fun, out this month from Hatje Cantz, includes over 50 of his plate camera images.
People are absent in the photographs, which are draped in gray skies and smog. It’s easy sport for a Western photographer to go to a country like China with its recent building boom, and document its shoddy corners, but Cerio does have a good idea for some truly strange scenes. Clocks keep time on empty beaches; roller coasters stand vacant and serpentine alongside shiny new skyscrapers; a huge, concrete bowl of fruit bleached by the sun looms over a street; and fragments from global architecture are recreated in concrete, metal, and plastic — from the Colosseum to the Eiffel Tower. A fake piano in an empty field attracts couples for wedding photographs in spring and summer, yet in winter is adrift and otherworldly.
Walter Guadagnini, chair in history of contemporary art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, writes in an introduction: “It is the collapse of meaning, as well as of any possible identity, that opens the way, in the end, to a vision of the most accentuated surreal character.”
Some of Cerio’s photographs will be on view at Fondazione Volume! in Rome from September 23 to November 3. The photographer purposefully finds places that are not actually abandoned, even if they might appear post-apocalyptic. One exception is the inclusion of the Wonderland Amusement Park in Nankou, a Disneyland knockoff that was never completed and left to decay. It’s all rather bleak on the surface, but these are mostly places in hibernation, waiting for the crowds to return to give their absurdity a purpose.
From Remedios Varo to Francisco de Goya, artists have long turned to witchcraft as subject matter.
The auction house partnered with Highsnobiety to sell “Art Handler” shirts for up to $125, drawing ire from workers in the field who say they’re overworked and underpaid.
Funded fellowships support on-site graduate and postdoctoral research spanning a variety of disciplines on cultural works in the center’s collections.
Black-crowned night herons have not returned after abandoning their nests during a building project at the Chicago History Museum.
What is a feminist picture? A MoMA exhibition is the latest to attempt to answer this question.
Students work in a collaborative studio environment with a faculty of practicing artists and premier facilities in the heart of Boston.
With exhibitions like Sing Our Rivers Red, Danielle SeeWalker, JayCee Beyale, and others make visible the number of missing people for whom they are demanding proper attention and justice.
In this assemblage of multinational artworks, a cohesive postcolonial canvas fails to fully emerge, owing to Dream City’s lack of bold vision.
Students in this two-year graduate program in New York enjoy access to the Hessel Museum of Art, the CCS Bard Library and Archives, and opportunities to curate in practice.
The British monarch and Donald Trump have both tried to impose neoclassical architecture on their countries — and one of them actually succeeded.
Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” was sliced out of its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in a notoriously brazen theft.
The advent of AI generators has led to an avalanche of rip-off artworks that have used Grzegorz Rutkowski’s name as a prompt.