„One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean“ / press

Press reviews for „One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean“ by Wang Yuyan

„We’re told that choice is good for us, that it instils us with freedom, autonomy and a wealth of possibilities, but anyone who’s spent the best part of an evening scrolling through Netflix will tell you this is empirically not true; our brains are busier than ever before and trying to figure out what we want can be exhausting. In her latest work, Wang Yuyan responds to this sensory overload by bursting the digital dam of content and unleashing a tsunami of what she refers to as „satisfying videos“ from the internet. Soundtracked by a looped beat and repetitive, yet incomprehensible voice (are they saying ‘party tonight?’ or ‘Hunt you tonight?’), images created using underwater cameras, and viral footage of watery mishaps hit the audience at a prodigious rate. Demanding a capacity for looking at the entropy of contemporary life without flinching, this heady exercise in nausea-inducing fantasia is both hallucinatory and discombobulating, with Wang suggesting we need to learn how to swim in this digital ocean or risk sinking to the bottom.“
review by Patrick Gamble on Alt Kino

„Wang’s directing, essentially composed of editing short clips (probably 1001 of them, I did not count them personally, but they are all listed in the ending credits) together in the rhythmical fashion, is apt for a piece of video-art. The real hero in this work is the sound designer Raphaël Hénard whose choice of sentences in English played in quick loops and manipulations with them regarding the speed and the shifts create the hypnotic feeling of a rave party to some trance / minimal soundtrack.“
review by Marko Stojiljković on Ubiquarian

„There’s a sense of being able to capture experience, to replay it for others and share it with the world. But can we really live vicariously in this way? Are we truly sharing (or participating in) an experience or are we merely staring at a facsimile of one? In many ways this becomes ironic in terms of the actual medium. Film and cinema – even it’s more abstract and experimental forms – is meant to offer us the chance to experience, learn and understand. At what point does this fall into passivity? What line separates a shallow and superficial understanding of the world with a more nuanced one? Yet ‘One Thousand And One Attempts To Be An Ocean’ never descends into a finger wagging exercise in audience chastisement (“Get out the cinema you sheep and live in the real world!”). Instead, it’s an exploration of a world that can all too often fall into the superficial that recognises its pleasures as well as its pitfalls.“
review by Laurence Boyce on Talking Shorts

„Wang Yuyan’s A Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean is a loop of desire and disaster. It can be interpreted as the smallest despair of a single human being or it can be interpreted as the greatest power of the entire universe. If anything, this short film is a visual outcry: I have collected the world’s images and yet I cannot find the point of zero degrees, the point of stability, the point of stillness.“
review by Camilla Peeters for Ultra Dogme

„Der Film ist ein Wellenmuster, ein fast symmetrischer Bogen. Die Bilder sind durch eine abstrakte Erzählung organisiert, die ziemlich organisch ist. Sie wurden durch ihren Rhythmus, ihre Bewegungen, ihre Farben und ihr Thema zusammengefügt. Mein Katalog des Ozeans beabsichtigt nicht, eine objektive Wahrheit zu produzieren, sondern einen Moment der Absorption und des Entzückens. Es ist eine Dokumentation über eine unmögliche Erfahrung oder eine Erfahrung des Unmöglichen. Ich versuche, diesen vergeblichen Versuch, den Ozean mit bloßen Händen zu halten, zu verkörpern und drücke damit eine der am meisten geteilten Emotionen unserer Zeit aus: diesen Wunsch, unseren Höhenrausch angesichts der unendlichen Möglichkeiten zu bewältigen.“
interview with Wang Yuyan by Doreen Matthei for Testkammer.de

find updates on „One Thousand and One Attempts to be an Ocean“ on letterboxd

photo © Daniel Seiffert

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