In Unknown Forces, commissioned by REDCAT, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has invited two of his regular actors – Sakda Kaewbuadee from Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century, FAITH, and numerous shorts; and Jenjira Pongpas, from Blissfully Yours, Iron Pussy, and Syndromes and a Century – to travel on a pickup truck along a highway. According to Weerasethakul, “The act is a tribute to our land and our countrymen after the political maelstrom of 2006.” This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., and the world premiere of the four-channel installation.
Says Weerasethakul, “Unknown Forces is also for the hard workers and hard drinkers of the northeast, my home region, who are the root of Thailand’s booming real estate. These construction workers are hauled around by contractors from one construction site to another, roaming cities and villages. Thailand’s landscape is shaped by these nomadic souls on pickup trucks. Like many actors I know, the workers have resided in a hierarchic system for so long that they are voiceless and are assigned to be part of an apolitical species…On many occasions I feel I am part of this pickup truck syndrome, fueled by a strange cocktail of politics, monarchy, and religion.”
Internationally recognized for his work in experimental and narrative cinema including Mysterious Objects at Noon (2000), Blissfully Yours (2002), Tropical Malady (2004) and Syndromes and a Century (2006), Weerasethakul’s films explore perception, impermanence, and the imaginary, cultivating fanciful potential within the mundane. Urban, rural, and galactic locations accentuate the aloneness of man in his environment and isolation from others. Abstract interchanges in Weerasethakul’s film and video installations interrogate conventions of the dramatic narrative while exploring desire, reality, and a kind of melancholy perhaps peculiar to our times. His exhibition at REDCAT includes June screenings of several feature and short films in the theater (see schedule below).
Unknown Forces: Apichatpong Weerasethakul is funded in part by the Asian Cultural Council; Camera Corner, Bangkok; North Star World, Bangkok; and Siamlite Film Service, Bangkok. Additional support provided by James Thompson Foundation, Bangkok; R23; and Smallroom, Bangkok.
Weerasethakul Screenings June 4, 6, 8, 9, 8pm:
Mon, June 4: Mysterious Object at Noon, 2000 (35mm/screened on DVD, TRT: 83 mins)
Wed, June 6: Blissfully Yours, 2002 (35mm film, TRT: 125 mins)
Fri, June 8: Recent short works – Anthem, 2006 (35mm, 5 mins)
FAITH, 2006 (video, 11 mins)
Ghost of Asia, 2005 (video, 8:30 mins)
Worldly Desires, 2005 (video, 40 mins)
Luminous People, 2007 (video, 15:22 mins)
Sat, June 9: Tropical Malady, 2004 (35mm film, TRT: 118 mins)
Opening reception: April 18, 6 – 9pm. Artist’s talk at 6:30pm
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