The Post-War Dream / Alessandro Zanoni
A visual journey into the Anthropocene

In the late summer of 2016, I spent six weeks in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region where I documented the transformation of some of the most influential cities in the region: Ordos, Hohhot, and Baotou. While looking back on the images I had taken, I was unexpectedly reminded of post-war Italian cinema in which the images had shared a common theme of booming developments occurring in the historic cities of Italy.

 

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

The shocking similarity between images 50 years apart testify to a dominant, globalized, and normalized character of these settlement processes. There is a common denominator, which seems to cancel the geography and the temporal distance between the events told by my visual-journey. The gaze moves in silent and mysterious places that seem to push the viewer beyond the empirical evidence towards an almost dreamlike dimension, or a “post dream” scenario.

 

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

During my journey in the Inner Mongolia region, I discovered that no matter the scale, the definition of a habitat tends to be homologated. I experienced the impact of the present geological “Anthropocene” era, where landscape, earth system processes, and dynamics are altered by humans. The project questions the space for another version of the city, beyond the apocalyptic dystopia laid ahead by a great metropolis of the twenty-first century.

 

Alessandro Zanoni / The Post-War Dream

The abrupt acceleration that urbanism has achieved at the beginning of the new millennium is no surprise. Post-war urbanization responded to the need for real housing policies in an increasingly industrial society that was huddled at the gates of ancient cities. On the other hand, from what we can observe in China, there is a projection of needs not entirely expected, foreshadowing the construction of a priori housing complexes which are often left empty. This is why the few people we see appear to us more like mannequins, puppets of a show that got out of hand, or victims like mythological shadows of a stage from a destiny in which they are excluded.

 

The Post-War Dream / A visual journey into the Anthropocene
by Alessandro Zanoni
Edition: 104 pages / 150 signed and numbered copies / English and Mandarin
Texts: Marco Bertozzi, Elena Rapisardi, Chen Liu
In collaboration with: Steve Bisson of Urbanautica Institute
Forthcoming: November 5, 2018
For more information on this project >

Andrei Tarkovsky / The Exhibition
September 14 – December 6, 2019
The masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky weave together dreams and memories, past and present. The painterly beauty of his images...
+
London Design Festival
September 14–22, 2019
The annual citywide event brings together a global community of designers, artists, architects and the creative industries with a...
+
Visionary Color / Ernst Haas
September 6 – November 9 2019
Taken between 1952 and 1981, the photographs of Ernst Haas presented on display show an ambiguity bordering on the...
+
Twilight Zone
September 7, 2019 – January 12, 2020
"It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between...
+
Subjects of Life
Photography in the Mudam Collection
This selection encourages a reflection on the medium through questions of representation and the effects of the image on...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .100
Escape Into the Beautiful
"As imperceptibly as Grief the Summer lapsed away. Too imperceptible at last to seem like Perfidy. A Quietness distilled...
+
The Art of Being Good
June 22 – September 1, 2019
Although tackling the ecological, social and economic components of crisis is normal in art, artworks and exhibitions rarely direct...
+
Multitude, Solitude / Dave Heath
March 14 – September 2, 2019
Picking out a face in a crowd, capturing an act of violence between siblings, or framing close-up portraits of...
+
Andrei Tarkovsky / The Exhibition
September 14 – December 6, 2019
The masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky weave together dreams and memories, past and present. The painterly beauty of his images...
+
London Design Festival
September 14–22, 2019
The annual citywide event brings together a global community of designers, artists, architects and the creative industries with a...
+
Visionary Color / Ernst Haas
September 6 – November 9 2019
Taken between 1952 and 1981, the photographs of Ernst Haas presented on display show an ambiguity bordering on the...
+
Twilight Zone
September 7, 2019 – January 12, 2020
"It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between...
+
Subjects of Life
Photography in the Mudam Collection
This selection encourages a reflection on the medium through questions of representation and the effects of the image on...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .100
Escape Into the Beautiful
"As imperceptibly as Grief the Summer lapsed away. Too imperceptible at last to seem like Perfidy. A Quietness distilled...
+
The Art of Being Good
June 22 – September 1, 2019
Although tackling the ecological, social and economic components of crisis is normal in art, artworks and exhibitions rarely direct...
+
Multitude, Solitude / Dave Heath
March 14 – September 2, 2019
Picking out a face in a crowd, capturing an act of violence between siblings, or framing close-up portraits of...
+