AboutFACT is delighted to present the UK premiere of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's new multi-platform media artwork Primitive. Commissioned by FACT in partnership with Haus der Kunst, Munich and Animate Projects, London, Primitive is a multiple- screen video installation, a music video, a short film for cinema, an online film and an artist's book.
This will be the first solo exhibition in the UK by the Thai artist, which forms part of the AND Festival, Primitiveis set in Nabua in the Renu Nakhon district of Thailand, which suffered violent clashes between communist communities and the Thai military in the 1960?s. Communist suspects were brutally tortured during attacks and those who managed to escape fled to the jungle where they disappeared forever.
Nabua's story undeniably has echoes with the current political turmoil in Thailand, as freedom of expression is still restricted and Thai security forces continue to engage in extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, with new cases of 'enforced disappearances' emerging during 2008.
The Primitive project is about re-imagining Nabua, a place where memories and ideologies have been extinguished. The video installation features the teenage male descendants of the communist farmers who were invited by Apichatpong to fabricate new memories in building a spaceship together in the rice fields. Used as a place to hang out, sleep and dream, the spaceship also takes on its own life in the landscape as young men are seen playfully attacking one another, instilling an atmosphere of both pleasure and violence. By giving us time and space to re-dream the past, Apichatpong askswhat can be learned to create a better future for the next generation.