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  Valentina Ferrandes
   
 
Lilong
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Lilong

 
Valentina Ferrandes is an Italian artist currently living and working in London. Her practice investigates the relations between individuals, social roles and architectural surroundings, through performance, video, and photography.

Lilong settlement is a low-rise, ground-related housing pattern, typical of Shanghai. Characterized by a strong sense of neighbourhood and cohesiveness, this typology of estate, constituted by two or more blocks of flats with an inner courtyard, has constituted the prevalent choice of Shanghai inhabitants until 1949. Today, as Shanghai’s urban restyling is taking place, the Lilong typology is quickly disappearing. The heavily and artificially landscaped courtyards of these new estates are rarely used as meeting places by their inhabitants, who prefer public parks and other outdoor spaces for their daily exercising, meeting and social activities. While the urban and human geography of Shanghai is changing and mainly elderly people perform these activities, parks become stages for fragmented “solo” performances. The video is a peculiar collection of individual portraits, of ambiguous repetitive gestures, shadowed by images of high-rise buildings and bird’s eye views of playgrounds. Whether or not these images are a realist representation of common individual workout, at the same time, they suggest a sense of loss and isolation, confinement and detachment.

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