Art, Spirituality, and Everyday Life, (Luang Prabang, Laos)

Art, Spirituality, and Everyday Life, (Luang Prabang, Laos)

THE QUIET IN THE LAND

October 27, 2004

THE QUIET IN THE LAND: Art, Spirituality, and Everyday Life, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
will officially begin in October 2004 in the city of Luang Prabang in Laos.

Artists MARINA ABRAMOVIC, JANINE ANTONI, HANS GEORG BERGER, CAROL CASSIDY, CAI GUO-QIANG, ANN HAMILTON, MANIVONG KHATTIYNALATH, DINH Q. LE, JUN NGUYEN-HATSUSHIBA, SHIRIN NESHAT, VONG PHAOPHANIT, ALLAN SEKULA, SHAHZIA SIKANDER, RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA
contact information:
France Morin
Tel. 212 505 1353
Email: fmorin5627 [​at​] aol.com

IN COLLABORATION WITH UTHIT ATIMANA, DR. CAROL BECKER, DR. CATHERINE CHORON-BAIX, FELIPE DELMONT, DR. VISHAKHA N. DESAI, SOPHIE DUONG, FRANCIS ENGELMANN, OKWUI ENWEZOR, DR. GRANT EVANS, VANPHENG KEOPANNHA, BOUNKHONG KHUTTHAO, REGINE LEMOINE-DARTHOIS, DR. BORETH LY, SOMSANOUK MIXAY, DR. INGRID MUAN, RASSANIKONE NANONG, SISAVATH NHILATCHAY, DR. VITHI PANITCHAPHAN, DR. HEATHER PETERS, DR. APINAN POSHYANANDA, DAVID ROSENBERG, LUK SINGKHAMTANH, OUANE SIRISACK, PHRA AJAHN ONEKEO SITTHIVONG, NITHAKHONG SOMSANITH

Under the High Patronage of
The Department of Information and Culture, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
In Collaboration With
Aid to Artisans,
Media Arts and Design, College of Graduate Study
Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
THE QUIET IN THE LAND: Art, Spirituality, and Everyday Life, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR will officially begin in October 2004 in the city of Luang Prabang in Laos.
The Quiet in the Land in Luang Prabang is the third and last project of The Quiet in the Land series inaugurated by the art historian and curator France Morin in 1995. The first project, THE QUIET IN THE LAND: Everyday Life, Contemporary Art, and the Shakers, took place in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, and the second one, THE QUIET IN THE LAND: Everyday Life, Contemporary Art, and Projeto Axe, in Salvador, Brazil. Each project in the series is structured as a carefully planned group of long-term community-based collaborative art and education projects.
The Quiet in the Land will take place in Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Lao PDR”) from 2004 to 2006. It will consist of a series of collaborations between 35 artists and educators from Laos, the Mekong Region, and other countries, who will work with a wide range of local community members. The project is guided by the conviction that the practice of art, broadly defined, offers both individuals and communities-including the poor, the disenfranchised, and others who have been adversely affected by globalization -the potential to acknowledge for themselves the dignity of the activities of everyday life; to understand more deeply the relevance of preserving and adapting their cultural heritage to the challenges they face in the 21st century; and to build the capacity for transforming their lives for the better by harnessing the undertapped power of the creative spirit.

The project will also include a series of cross-boundaries partnerships that seeks to forge networks between individuals and institutions. These partnerships will take the form of study trips to Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai, Thailand. They will include students and faculty from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Columbia University School of the Arts, New York; and the Universite de Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Paris. These individuals will work with The Quiet in the Land participants, as well as with students and faculty from the School of Fine Arts in Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai University.

Finally, The Quiet in the Land will work in close collaboration with Luang Prabang’s cultural institutions. These include the Department of Information and Culture, The Heritage House, the Luang Prabang School of Fine Arts, the Luang Prabang National Museum (Royal Palace Museum), and UNESCO’s Cultural Survival and Revival in the Buddhist Sangha project, which is working to re-establish the tradition of transmission of decorative arts skills within the sangha (Buddhist community). These institutions form a crucial link between Luang Prabang’s past and its future. Through the process of collaboration, the project will seek to help these institutions fulfill their mission of preserving the city’s cultural heritage.

Luang Prabang is a city of about 20,000 in Laos. It was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1995 to help ensure the preservation of its historical heritage, threatened by years of neglect wrought by war and poverty, and more recently by the rapid growth of tourism. In spite of its small size, it is distinguished by the extent to which the spaces and rituals of everyday life fuse art, spirituality, and politics. It is one of the few Southeast Asian cities still organized traditionally as a cluster of ban (small neighborhoods), each centered on a vat (monastery), around which the community’s life revolves. It has a venerable history as the initial capital of the first independent Lao kingdom, a major center of Theravada Buddhist scholarship, and the artistic and cultural capital of the Lao PDR.

The collaborative projects will be designed to open up for questioning broad social and cultural categories such as art, craft, heritage, tradition, politics, and religion; to envision how the creative process can be used to address poverty, displacement, the loss of tradition, and the other effects of globalization; and to reveal how the preservation and development of local cultural traditions can be a source not only of such intangibles as pride in local identities, but of sustainable development that could enrich the livelihoods of excluded persons.

The project is financed in part by international foundations, as well as by the proceeds from a limited edition portfolio, consisting of a collection of twenty-four original photographs generously offered by the artists and realized during their stay in Luang Prabang.

At the end of the project, the participants will contribute to a major 400 pp. Lao-English publication that will document all of the collaborations. The project will conclude at the end of 2006 with two reunions of all the participants. The first reunion and symposium will take place in Luang Prabang; the second one, in New York at the Asia Society and Museum.
For more information on the project or the limited edition portfolio, please contact France Morin at One Fifth Avenue, Suite 10A, New York, NY 10003 Tel. 212 505 1353 Email: fmorin5627@aol.com or Marisela La Grave Tel. 212 529 5161 Email: lagravem@aol.com

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THE QUIET IN THE LAND
October 27, 2004

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