The film travels with Ms. Varda and JR, as they drive his photo-booth truck to hamlets, factories and ports in France; take giant images of residents and laborers; and paste them onto buildings, water tanks and any other surface they can beautify â bringing those so often unseen to the fore.
It is, however, the conversations, tender and teasing, between Ms. Varda, who is losing her vision, and JR, who hides behind dark glasses, as they ponder their art, their ages, goats and cats, long-ago loves and lost friends, that will have viewers wiping their eyes. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Art: Guggenheimâs âChina After 1989â
Through Jan. 7; guggenheim.org.
In 1987, the Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping ran copies of two art history textbooks through a washing machine, later displaying the resulting pulp as âThe History of Chinese Painting and A Concise History of Modern Painting Washed in a Washing Machine for Two Minutes.â
Itâs an apt metaphor for the cultural and ideological ferment between the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, at least as viewed from abroad. This time period is the focus of a new exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum that starts Friday Oct. 6, âArt and China after 1989: Theater of the World.â
The ambitious show features dozens of contemporary Chinese artists, including conceptualists like Mr. Huang and painters like Liu Xiaodong. (After an outcry by animal-rights supporters, though, the museum announced it would withdraw three works, including one of Mr. Huangâs, a hothouse box of insects and lizards.) The exhibition will nevertheless offer an indispensable road map to a scene claiming more and more attention. WILL HEINRICH