Like a ghost straddling the realms of the living and dead, Korakrit Arunanondchai mediates his Thai and American identities. His work explores problems that have touched both his native country, and more intimately, his Thai family. The 32-year-old artist is having a big year, across four continents. His newest film, a collaboration with artist Alex Gvojic, titled No history in a room filled with people with funny names 5(2018), is on view at the Venice Biennale through November.
The three-channel film features news footage of last year’s Tham Luang rescue in which divers saved a Thai soccer team from a cave where they’d been trapped for weeks—spliced together with shots of the artist playing a laser harp amidst an eerie ensemble in a forest, a dance by the performance artist boychild, a veterinarian primed to operate on a rabbit, and the artist’s grandmother in a hospital bed. Green lights flash throughout different segments, loosely binding the disparate elements.
“The new piece is about invisible systems,” Arunanondchai said. “Things that feel like ghosts, and occupy certain spaces of superstition. I wanted to acknowledge that as real, even if it’s a story. Storytelling is real. It’s part of reality-making.” (more at Artsy)