Monday, 27 May 2019

Tawan Wattuya: Works 2009-2019

Tawan Wattuya: Works 2009-2019
Untitled Untitled
Tawan Wattuya: Works 2009-2019, published this month, features selected works in watercolour by Tawan Wattuya. The monograph is organised thematically, and includes essays by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Iola Lenzi, Kong Rithdee, and Prabda Yoon, amongst others. It was edited by Myrtille Tibayrenc.

Of the hundreds of included works, Tawan’s paintings of a hanging corpse from the 6th October 1976 massacre, and a man beating the victim with a chair, are among the highlights. There are also sexually explicit paintings from his Story of the Eye exhibition. Unfortunately, his Red Faces series was excluded.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Amnesia

Amnesia
Tawan Wattuya’s exhibition Amnesia opened yesterday at 1Projects in Bangkok. The exhibition features his Red Faces series, painted in 2011 and previously shown at the Khonkaen Manifesto (ขอนแก่น แมนิเฟสโต้) group exhibition.

The series of eighteen portraits depicts red-shirt protesters who were shot dead by the military on 10th April 2010. A book commemorating the victims, วีรชน 10 เมษา คนที่ตายมีใบหน้าคนที่ถูกฆ่ามีชีวิต (‘heroes of 10th April: the faces of the dead live on’), was published in 2011.

The exhibition title, Amnesia, reflects the absence of the massacre from the collective memory. Like previous acts of Thai military violence against civilians - in 1973, 1976, and 1992 - the crackdowns of April and May 2010 have been whitewashed from history, with no prosecutions of soldiers or army officers. The exhibition runs until 14th July.

PDF

Friday, 24 May 2019

‪มันทำร้ายเราได้แค่นี้แหละ

Prontip Mankong’s prison diary, ‪มันทำร้ายเราได้แค่นี้แหละ (‘all they could do to us’), was published earlier this year. Prontip was jailed in 2015 for lèse-majesté, after she directed a play, The Wolf Bride (เจ้าสาวหมาป่า), which was performed at Thammasat University in 2013. She was released from prison in 2016.

The book, which is almost 900 pages long, reproduces notes Prontip wrote by hand while serving her sentence. Her boyfriend was interviewed about her conviction in the documentary Homogeneous, Empty Time (สุญกาล), and ห้องเช่าหมายเลข 112 (‘room no. 112 for rent’) profiles twenty-two fellow lèse-majesté prisoners.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Suspiria

Suspiria
Dario Argento’s classic horror film Suspiria will be shown at Smalls, the Bangkok bar, on Sunday evening. The rooftop screening is free of charge.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

11:11

11:11
Madonna is featured on Maluma’s new album, 11:11, which will be released on 17th May; she appears on one track, Soltera (‘single’). Likewise, Madonna’s forthcoming album Madame X features Maluma on two tracks: Medellín and Bitch I’m Loca.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Les deux freres et les lions

Les deux freres et les lions
Les deux freres et les lions
Les deux freres et les lions
Les deux freres et les lions
David Barclay is suing a French playwright for libel and invasion of privacy. The court case, which began yesterday, relates to the play Les deux frères et les lions (‘the two brothers and the lions’), written by Hédi Tillette de Clermont-Tonnerre and first performed in 2013. The play is a thinly-veiled satire on the Barclay twins, David and Frederick, owners of The Daily Telegraph newspaper. David Barclay is seeking a ban on any future performances of the play, and on sales of its script, which was published in 2017.

The play is a two-hander, and its unnamed characters are referred to as ‘l’aîné’ (‘elder’) and ‘le cadet’ (‘younger’). The lawsuit cites two specific passages, both spoken by ‘l’aîné’, the character based on David Barclay, the older twin. In the first of the contentious lines, found on page 43 of the published script, he declares himself above the law. In the second controversial passage, on page 48, he complains that his children will suffer due to Norman inheritance laws.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Pioneer in Video Art

Pioneer in Video Art
The Pioneer in Video Art [sic.] (นิทรรศการผู้บุกเบิกศิลปะวีดีโอจากประเทศไทย ประเทศสโลวีเนีย และประเทศนอร์เวย์ ตั้งแต่ปี 1980) exhibition at BACC in Bangkok features video art from Thailand, Slovenia, and Norway. The exhibition's subtitle is Thailand, Slovenia, Norway Since 1980, though that date appears arbitrary, as a few pre-1980 videos are included and most works are post-2000.

One of the highlights is Arnont Nongyao's Ghost Rabbit and the Casket Sales (กระต่ายผี กับ คนขายโลง), in which a DJ samples the Thai junta's propaganda song Returning Happiness to the Thai Kingdom (คืนความสุขให้ประเทศไทย). Like the lead character in Baby Driver, the DJ remixes snippets of audio with a cassette recorder. Wheels with abstract patterns are shown spinning, symbolising vinyl records and evoking Marcel Duchamp's Dada film Anaemic Cinema. The film ends with a tattered Thai flag, as in the poster for Ing Kanjanavanit's Citizen Juling (พลเมืองจูหลิง).

Slovenian artist Vuk Cosić renders moving images semi-abstract by converting them to ASCII text. For his video Deep ASCII, he applied this technique to clips from two classic porn movies, The Devil in Miss Jones and Deep Throat.

Several major Thai video artists are missing from the exhibition, most notably Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (He was also omitted from an earlier survey of Thai video art, From Message to Media.) Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is included, however, represented by A Walk, a slow-motion video in which she wanders among shrouded corpses in a morgue.

Pioneer in Video Art opened yesterday, though half of the exhibition was still under wraps on the first day. As of today, all works are now on show, though the signage is still being put up. The exhibition closes on 29th June.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Field Trip Project Asia

Field Trip Project Asia
Parade of Golden Snail
Parade of Golden Snail
Parade of Golden Snail
Office of Contemporary Art and Culture
The Field Trip Project Asia exhibition has been on display since 9th April, though the show's highlight came yesterday evening, with a surreal piece of performance art. For Chulayarnnon Siriphol's Parade of Golden Snail (ขบวนแห่หอยทากทอง), Nuttorn Kungwanklai led a procession through the gallery with mock solemnity. Accompanied by a drummer and two Scouts (as seen in Planetarium, Chulayarnnon's segment of Ten Years Thailand), Nuttorn carried a giant snail shell.

This golden shell has been a recurring motif in Chulayarnnon's recent work. Nuttorn previously held it in Chulayarnnon's short film Golden Spiral (part of Ghost:2561). It also featured in his short film Birth of Golden Snail, which was banned from last year's Thailand Biennale. The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture's letter confirming the ban is included in the Field Trip Project Asia exhibition. The show runs until 5th May, at BACC in Bangkok.