Wang Bing – Caiyou riji (Crude Oil)
Courtisane festival

Fri 30.03 → 10:00 – 00:00     Sun 1.04 → 10:00 – 00.00


‘Caiyou riji (Crude Oil)’ by Wang Bing


2008, 840 min, CN, digital video, Eng. subtitles

Wang Bing’s epic 14-hour long film / installation monitors the long working day of oil workers in the remote Qinghai province in China. ‘Crude Oil’ is filmed at high altitude in the Gobi desert where the harsh climate impedes the heavy work of the workers. The filmmaker initially intended to realise a movie of 70 hours (shooting 10 hours daily over the course of 7 days), but high-altitude sickness adjusted the original plans. For a long time, the region has been one of the poorest areas in China, though it recently experiences a growth because of the present mines and the exploitation of oil. The film follows the workers from dusk ‘till dawn during their working hours in the moonlike landscape and their short breaks in the canteens and dormitories.

As Artist in Focus, Wang Bing is a guest in Ghent during the Courtisane festival.

Courtisane is a platform dedicated to audio-visual arts. From a contemporary issue about the potential of cinema as a landscape for possible ways of showing, experiencing, seeing and looking, Courtisane wishes to explore the relationships between image and real world, aesthetics and politics, and experiment and commitment. Besides organising an annual festival, Courtisane also offers a continuous and broad program consisting of presentations and reflective activities.