Dedicated to a leading artist on the international scene, Cao Fei. Supernova explores the works exhibited at MAXXI on the occasion of the homonymous exhibition, curated by Hou Hanru and Monia Trombetta. Starting from a rapidly evolving China, Cao Fei explores the effects that this frenzied development has on humanity, proposing utopia and fantasy as the only weapons of survival and understanding of reality. In addition to two of the artist’s most famous films, Haze and Fog and La Town, the volume presents Cao Fei’s latest works, including: the science fiction film Nova, the VR work The Eternal Wave, and Isle of Instability, created by the artist in her Singapore home during the isolation due to the pandemic.
Accompanied by a rich iconographic apparatus of images and descriptions of the exhibited works, including RMB City, Hongxia, HX Publication, the book explores the practice of Cao Fei through the critical essays of the curators, Hou Hanru and Monia Trombetta, Olivia Khoo, and an interview with the artist by Cristiana Perrella; it is also accompanied by an insert with an unpublished sci-fi story by the author Wang Honghze. From the transformation of Chinese society to technology, from the obsession for development to the increasingly alienating human conditions, moving between utopia (and dystopia), the book accompanies Cao Fei’s exhibition, highlighting the most pressing questions of modernity and the challenges that define our reality and, above all, our future.