Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness

at Oklahoma City Museum of Art
 
 

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside supernatural elements suggests a distortion between fact and folklore, the subconscious and the exposed and various disparities of power. His work reveals stories often excluded in history, in and out of Thailand: voices of the poor and the ill, marginalized humans and those silenced and censored for personal and political reasons.

This new solo exhibition uniquely presents a selected survey of rarely seen experimental short films and video installations by Weerasethakul, alongside his photography, sketches and archival materials that explore threads of socio-political commentary. His passionate positions on class, labor, sexuality and spirituality contribute to a body of work concerned with ethics, power, science, and liberation.

The Serenity of Madness is structured into distinct sections: one corresponding to the artist’s private world, peopled with friends, family and long-time collaborators; another takes up the public sphere but with a more abstract dimension of experience, utilizing light, memory and temporal, spatial and spiritual displacement. The survey culminates with a selection of recent work addressing the social reality in his homeland.

Curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong, a longtime collaborator of the filmmaker’s, this exhibition will be accompanied by a retrospective of the director’s theatrical releases in the Samuel Roberts Noble Theater. It will include a special opening event for the Museum’s newly launched film society.

Image: Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness, Para Site installation view, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist and Independent Curators International.; Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2014. Courtesy of Kick the Machine Films, Photograph by Chai Siris.

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