Apichatpong Weerasethakul Double Visions•••••

11. Apr - 17. May 14 / ended Anthony Reynolds Gallery

Exhibition | Film / Video | London

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"The works in this exhibition are a survey of lights and focus on illusion, dream and intimacy. They represent moments I would like to remember”. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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Visions of a Moonchild

by ulalume 28.04.14 15:51

In the thin veil-like space between light and darkness, the twilight comes and goes, often unnoticed. The little tricks of light that were enough to create whole stories and fear in men, now pass by, invisible, in a blink. The spirits of folk tales and dreams, of sleepless nights, roam homeless, unnoticed, guideless, aimless. But once every so often, they find a small, safe home to rest.

This home is the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In there, they can breathe again their weak, icy but comforting breaths to our ear; they are here, they mean no harm. They only want to be noticed again.

Behind a firmly closed door in the edges of Soho, one of these spirits walks and waits for us. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s installation of ‘Dilbar’ is a small enclosed port for both this restless soul and us. Eerie, as is most of his work, it demands our patience and observation. In the same way that our sight slowly adjusts to the darkness in the room to reveal the disembodied soul, our mind also slowly adjusts to what this might all be about. A wonderfully ghostly short film of the everyday, but its simplicity is deceitful. For this is a masterclass in Expanded Cinema.

The thin woven like screen on which the film is projected, does not only act as the thin layer between us and the spirit world but it is an actual physical thin layer that is ingeniously used together with lighting to break up the frame of the film into smaller ones. These smaller perfect frames, on the gallery walls and floor, focus on details that seem not important in the main frame. But on their own, these broken frames are whole new films, stories and histories on their own: a tree thumping to the sound of manual workers, a worker’s face becoming the portrait of a king. The main image of the everyday is broken down to faces, buildings, traffic, silence, a hundred new realities.

Which of them is the truth? All or none? Weerasethakul reminds us of the trickery of the Image as well as the beauty of noticing the detail, and he does this all at once and all so politely. He reminds us that what we see might not be the truth and what we fail to notice might be the whole world. Those first unnoticed, the manual worker, the tree, the building, are now the protagonists.

Briefly, like the restless souls Apichatpong Weerasethakul protects, the unnoticed start to exist.


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