Stefano Cerio: Chinese Fun
Deceptive images of fun and laughter, projections of happiness: Chinese amusement parks
Stefano Cerio (*1962) directs his attention to alternative worlds: for his elaborate series he takes pictures of recreational paradises—ski arenas, cruises, water and fun parks. For the artist, Italian street altars even count among these colorful illusory worlds that people create for the purpose of escaping from everyday life. Yet in his cool photographs Cerio without exception exposes the fun rides and the adventure pools in the off-season and therefore devoid of visitors; the ruptures, the bleakness, and the senselessness that become visible behind the amusing façades. For Chinese Fun, the photographer visited a whole range of recreational parks, water landscapes, and sports grounds in Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Hong Kong. His centrally organized compositions are made with a plate camera and document selected absurd arrangements—from a concrete fruit basket as large as a house to the looped tracks of an enormous roller coaster in the interior courtyard of an office complex.