A follow-up to her film “Holy Daughters,” Brooklyn-based artist Prune Nourry’s next film will focus on gender preference in China, using an immediately recognizable cultural symbol.
Terracotta Daughters follows the filmmaker and craftspeople as they build an army of 116 female terracotta warriors. The sculptures, an answer to the ancient all-male Terracotta Warriors of Qin Shi Huang, went on tour in 2014 and were buried this year. They’ll be excavated in 2030. The trailer gives scope to Nourry’s artistic anthropology.
A writeup in the New York Observer explains the background in more detail:
Ms. Nourry, in each of her large-scale projects, embeds herself in a different, foreign culture and is careful to approach the work almost like an anthropologist. After all, she is an outsider. But she wanted to examine gender selection, and one of the places that made the most sense to do that included China, known for its one-child policy favoring males. “All of my projects are related to human definition or human selection in a way,” she said.
or the Daughters she consulted sociologists who specialized in gender preference from the University of Xian, and partnered with the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu who helped her find the eight orphan girls who inspired her sculptures. The girls’ education is supported by the sale of the original sculptures to collectors. The proceeds also helped fund the production of the army, and its travels are further financed by the sale of bronze replicas, which are also on view at the China Institute downtown, prices ranging from $8,500 to $60,800.
We’ll be looking forward to seeing this documentary for ourselves. It’s a better use of the mythical army in film than some other ideas we’ve seen.
Love contemporary ceramic art + design? Let us know in the comments.