June 9, 2018 - MP Culture - Korakrit Arunanondchai: With History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 4
June 9, 2018

MP Culture

Korakrit Arunanondchai, With History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 4 (still), 2017. Video. Courtesy of the artist and CLEARING Gallery.

Korakrit Arunanondchai
With History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 4
June 20–July 29, 2018

Performance: June 18, 8–10pm, Featuring Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic

J1
23 place de la Joliette
13226 Marseille
France

www.mp2018.com

Korakrit Arunanondchai
With History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 4
June 20–July 29, 2018

Performance: June 18, 8–10pm, Featuring Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic

J1
23 place de la Joliette
13226 Marseille
France

www.mp2018.com

MP2018 Quel Amour! has taken over the J1 hangar in Marseille and has invited two internationally renowned contemporary artists to create installations specifically imagined for the event. After JR, the space will be handed over to Korakrit Arunanondchai from June 20 to July 29, 2018. This will be the Thai artist’s first time back in France since his installation at Palais de Tokyo in 2015. In Marseille, he will create a production that will cover 2200m2 of floor space. At the invitation of Charlotte Cosson & Emmanuelle Luciani, his in situ work will explore his preferred themes of spirituality in the globalized world and of the overlap between animism and modern technology. The artist has imagined an immersive, large-scale production that is a video and a stage. There will be a two-hour long performance with his frequent collaborators boychild and Alex Gvojic on the opening night. The curators have contextualized the installation by organising a series of contemplations on subjects evoked by the artwork: Marcel Gauchet on the need to reconnect with history; Bernard Stiegler on friendship; Nicolas Bourriaud on contemporary creation; Claudine Cohen on how to make the past feel closer; Eric Malbos on the potential of a humanist virtual reality in psychiatry; and Chloé Maillet on transgender individuals and women throughout history.

Arunanondchai’s videos appear to ask these questions: who carries the memory of the world? And who will recover it once we are no longer here? The poetry of passing time leaves its marks, just as faded jeans bear traces of their past, and these poetic marks are woven together with the high-definition vividness that is gradually replacing human vision to create these contemporary fairy tales where multiple civilizations, species, and futures coexist on the same wounded planet.

Arunanondchai returns to earth by presenting sedimentary layers of loam, shells, seaweed, and latex paint that glimmers of fuel. The artist considers the future from the ground up: will the ultimate incarnation of humankind turn out to be androgynous or bionic? Will humanity be replaced by a civilization of giant rats or drones, or will there be some form of coexistence?

In order to grasp some of the different possible outcomes of these inquiries, Arunanondchai decides to literally look down upon them by adopting the sweeping viewpoint of a drone named Chantri. In the manner of an antique philosopher that extols the notion of jumping out of the language to better understand it, here the artist attempts to escape horizontal thinking by adopting a non-human perspective.

Yet he asks the drone questions that are unheard of in the world of machines: “Do you have any beliefs, Chantri?” or “Will we manage to become one with you and dematerialize into the flow of the great spirit?” Contrary to popular misconceptions of a transhumanism stripped of spirituality, Arunanondchai accentuates the ontologically messianic nature of the quest for an improved human. What’s more, does not the Internet of Things, which gives intelligence—maybe even a soul—to ordinary objects, echo of the beliefs of millennial animists? The ground produced here extends these thoughts into the realm of DNA, where every item is charged with history. In the image of Mozart who was transformed into music upon his death, the King of Thailand mutated into his very faith upon his death as the earth upon which he walked became sacred. The fossilization of dust is the epitome of historic sedimentation: we are dust and to dust we shall return. Everything contains both the original cell and the seed of new life.

In this manner, Arunanondchai considers a reappearance of spirituality via machines and a transhumanism that is respectful of the Earth. He seizes upon the origins of the term “religion”: the Latin word religare that means “to bind together.” Surpassing paradoxes, he takes a middle road to shatter antagonistic juxtapositions between ecology/robotics, death/love, or nature/culture, and he uses this same path to reconcile Eastern and Nietzschean philosophies by appreciating that their realms reach far beyond mere notions of good and evil.

Charlotte Cosson & Emmanuelle Luciani

 

Lecture cycle by Charlotte Cosson & Emmanuelle Luciani

June 27, 7pm: Claudine Cohen (EHESS) “Becoming human: a meeting with men (and women) from Prehistory”
June 30, 5pm: talk between Nicolas Bourriaud and Charlotte Cosson & Emmanuelle Luciani “a molecular era?”
July 4, 7pm: Bernard Stiegler “The future of friendship. Rethink philia within exosomatization”
July 11, 6pm: Chloé Maillet “Love and gender fluidity during medieval times”
July 27, 7pm: Dr Eric Malbos on cybertherapy and transhumanism

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