‘Hallstatt, China’ is a multi-media project investigating contemporary notions of copies through a comparison of Chinese replica towns and their original European counterparts. These so called ‘copy towns’ are a recent phenomenon in which western buildings and even entire towns are reconstructed for the high-end property market in China. Making use of virtual models and 3d printing the artists employ the current tools of architectural reproduction to process their photo and video documentation of the twin sites and create sculptural works, prints, a film and a book.
The film will be a non-narrative take on the rise of these towns. It will feature footage from lots of different locations in China associated with copying (Thames Town: a town featuring many replicated English buildings, the Dafen Oil Painting Village: where 80% of the worlds fake oil paintings are produced, two versions of the Eiffel Tower, several abandoned copy projects, and several 'miniature worlds), but will predominantly be focused on the reproduction of Hallstatt, a UNESCO protected Austrian town. The film will include interviews with the marketing teams, residents, as well as with architect Ai Weiwei. The artists have also arranged interviews for when they visit the original town in Austria; this includes the town mayor, Alexander Scheutz, as well as marketing staff and residents. The aim is to have the film finished by the end of 2013.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (July 2013)