Multichannel Split-screen & Out of Sync Mode Installation
Black & white and color, sound, 5’30”
Courtesy of Aike-Dellarco
Born Again (2013) is another chapter within Li Ran’s survey into meta-fiction. This time he tries the genre of TV documentary: the BBC-style programs where a self-confident and persuasive journalist takes the viewer on a virtual journey of discovery into a phenomenon/ fact/figure worth of attention. While questioning the utility of this “products”, ridiculing their weary format and patronizing tone, Li Ran carefully reconstructs a credible context – with the classic camera-work and insertion of (fake) archive footage – to criticize the way “advanced” societies commodify history. The improvised story of an enigmatic Chinese bluesman also contests “ethnic” appropriation of art (“Jesus doesn’t care about my color”). The multi- channel installation and the out-of-synch mode – also meant to reproduce the effect of dubbed real TV programs – enhance the sense of fragmentation, so that the viewer is forced to find his/her most suitable decoding modality.