Sonja Lillebæk Christensen and Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Sonja Lillebæk Christensen
Nothing Else Matters
9 April–5 June 2011
Sonja Lillebæk Christensen: Nothing Else Matters
In this extensive solo exhibition, Sonja Lillebæk Christensen presents a series of installations, several of which were specifically created for the characteristic premises of Overgaden. With images in a huge scale insistently occupying the space, the viewer is drawn into works of widely differing character in terms of narrative and form. Using slides, photo wallpaper, HD video and YouTube clips, leaps are created between a shipwrecked Portuguese sailor, a fictional crime scene and a sampled male universe with roaring truck engines and heavy metal.
Despite the absence of a clear theme, a context nonetheless arises. All of the works confront us with a wondering, observing gaze, which creates uncertainty about what is seen. In documentary form, Lillebæk Christensen highlights things that are normally overlooked or considered ‘uninteresting.’
In an intimate and sometimes quirky and humorous visual language, Lillebæk Christensen opens up the possibility of re-reading our stereotypical ideas about our fellow human beings and our surroundings. An example is the video work Gerningsstedet II (Crime Scene II) from 2009, in which she recycles classic detective story elements to puncture the media-created criminal mythology surrounding the South Harbour area of Copenhagen. Reality and fiction are woven into one another in a tension-filled suspense that never culminates in a dramatic climax, but instead progressively undermines the premises of the action itself. In the exhibition, Sonja Lillebæk Christensen raises questions about the nature of narrative. What is required to create a story? What do we expect from it? And what stories can be constructed at all? Through these issues, she touches on society’s dominant perceptions and power relationships—but without identifying and criticizing these from a biased and comfortable position.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Primitive
In co-operation with Copenhagen’s international film festival CPH PIX, Overgaden also presents the spectacular installation Primitive (2009) by the Thai film director, video artist and architect Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Weerasethakul, one of the most important filmmakers of our day, rose to prominence in the film world when he won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2010 with the film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives—the jewel in the crown of the multifaceted Primitive project about historical memory, transformation and rebirth.
Primitive is set in the village of Nabua in north-east Thailand, which suffered a cruel fate during the Thai army’s campaign against Communism from the 1960s to the 1980s—a chapter of history which has largely been repressed in the collective memory of the Thai people today. During the occupation by the authorities a large proportion of the men of Nabua disappeared, which in Weerasethakul’s cinematic universe finds a symbolic counterpart in the region’s ancient legend about a ghost widow who kidnaps any man who enters her realm.
On the basis of local spiritism and mythology, the story of Nabua is reawakened in the borderland between fact and fiction. Through the use of consistent imagery, ranging from the semi-documentary to the poetical and dream-like, the widow town is reinterpreted as a community of men freed from the ghost widow. The men, descendants of the Communist peasants, lead the way on a journey that creates memories and dream scenarios in the jungle.
The exhibition includes seven short, interdependent film sequences, which can be seen both individually and as crisscrossing correspondences.
For further information about both exhibitions, please contact Anna Holm, press officer, at: email@example.com, or call +45 3257 7273. High-resolution press pictures can be downloaded from our website: www.overgaden.org under ‘Press’ and ‘Current’.