For the Performa 19 Biennial, New York and Bangkok based artist Korakrit Arunanondchai, in collaboration with boychild, Bonaventure, Alex Gvojic, and Aaron David Ross, will present a performance in the form of an invented reality, collapsing oral storytelling and local mythologies into Thailand’s complex history with the American military, national policies and Buddhist kingship.
Based on Ghost Cinema, a post-Vietnam War ritual in Thailand where outdoor screenings function as communions between the audience and the spirits. Introduced by American soldiers stationed in Thailand who screened films in the forests, creating enigmatic projections which locals attributed to ghosts, the appropriation of the ritual by locals reflects the rich history of military coups and their effect on local folklore and rituals.
No history in a room filled with people with funny names 5
Opening with the myth of spirits summoning projectionists to initiate an outdoor film projection, artist Korakrit Arunanondchai's dynamic film is charged with the idea of community – among humans and non-humans – in Thailand’s contemporary moment of instability. Boys trapped in a cave trigger a reflection on the geopolitics of the region and the fragility of its history.
The recurring central character, a fictional Thai painter, is depicted in situations that reflect the interaction between traditional beliefs, the natural environment, and developments in the technology, politics, and culture of a changing Thailand. The sculptural installation presented in the Central Pavilion is a series of ‘post-natural’ tree-like forms, while the Arsenale hosts a three-screen installation made with Alex Gvojic (1984, USA).
Film & Installation by Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic
Music & Sound Design by Aaron David Ross
Featured in the 2019 Venice Biennale