Beyond Index is an original travelogue across economic superpower China, an essay on capital and utopia. In an age which often measures art in terms of capitalist productivity, Beyond Index investigates whether art has the power to undermine or destabilize capitalist neoliberal regimes. Can it wake up and shake up passive and complacent spectators?
Beyond Index also explores the creative challenges facing novice artists in their confrontation with the classics. The moment they begin exploring their own artistic path. In the film artwork, a group of Chinese art students copy a Rococo painting and paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Renoir. A newcomer who has named himself after Yves Klein introduces the colour blue as if it were a mind-altering elixir. When one of the students is finally asked to reproduce a photograph of Yves Klein, she decides to copy the work in a new and original way by leaping into the void herself.
New media pioneer Gerald van der Kaap was one of the first VJs in the 1990s. In his film artwork he also makes use of trance-like collages. The interior shots in the painting factory were filmed by Jia Zhangke’s crew. The music is by the Berlin DJ/producer set Âme (Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Rädle).