“Movies are a form of black magic. It’s instinctive.” - Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thai artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul is considered one of the rising stars of the franco-thai and international cultural scene. With a pluridisciplinary approach to artistic creation, the artist combines video, installations, sound and light to create immersive works in both cinema and visual arts. The results come in fascinating works that France has welcomed with open arms ever since his first apparition in the Cannes Festival in 2010.
In 2021, Apichatpong will be visiting France again for two promising projects, namely one personnal exhibition at Institut d'Art Contemporain Villeurbanne and two movie nominations in the world-widely recognized Cannes Film Festival.
PERIPHERY OF THE NIGHT : reinventing the fabric of time
Institut d'Art Contemporain Villeurbanne (IAC) will begin spring with a solo exhibition of the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, an artist and director from Thailand.
The universe developed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is intimate and strange, run though with polyphonic fables. From films to artworks, environments to videos, one finds the same places – the Issan province and the rural hospitals where the artist grew up, a thick jungle, dark cellars – the same actors, the same patterns, the same questions.
In a time that is both cyclic and dilated, a hypnotic atmosphere emerges. Slowness and the night make everything possible, even more so as the artist multiplies and weaves together layers of slumberous sounds and images, creating in-between worlds where human and non-human, ghosts and magical apparitions, living and reincarnated beings co-exist. Supernatural figures, the communist exactions of the past, the neglected edges of our reality are filtered softly through the ordinary and the everyday. Cinema, perceived as a deployment of one’s soul, becomes a waypoint to various realities, visible and invisible, temporal and spatial, that become apparent to us. The patient camera of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, influenced by Buddhist thought, trains our technical and spiritual faculties to achieve other levels of listening to better experience the sickness of our world.
It is this enigmatic temporal material that is deployed in the IAC in a psychic and physical experience, inviting one’s body to float between film projections and luminous creations. For Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the exhibition space is “a very particular cinema” where the public “imagines different scenarios, as if each one of us was a character that can remember different lives”. Exhibition spaces are thus populated and expanded by these lives replayed and their unfulfilled dreams.
MEMORIA AND THE YEAR OF THE EVERLASTING STORM AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
Apitchapong Weerasethakul will present two films at the Cannes Film Festival, taking place from July 6 to 17, 2021.
Selected in official competition, Memoria is co-produced by the artist and France. With Tilda Swinton as the leading actress, French actress Jeanne Balibar is part of the cast, along with Colombian actors Daniel Giménez Cacho, Juan Pablo Urrego and Elkin Diaz.
A Scottish orchid horticulturalist visits her sick sister in Bogota, Colombia. During her stay, she became friends with a French archaeologist, in charge of monitoring a construction project, and with a young local musician. Every night, she is disturbed by increasingly loud detonations which prevent her from sleeping...
THE YEAR OF THE EVERLASTING STORM
Apitchapong Weerasethakul is also a contributor to the film The Year of The Everlasting Storm, a sketch film presented in a special screening.
Apitchapong Weerasethakul has been considered for many years a great friend of France, which has always given him a warm welcome. The great director maintains a very strong link with France, which has always supported him in the production of his films. He has developed a relationship of trust with the Cannes Film Festival, which has screened all of its films and has contributed to its international recognition in the film industry. The films presented by the filmmaker have all been awarded; the film Blissfully Yours received the "Un Certain Regard" prize in 2002, then Tropical Malady in 2004 the Jury prize, until the consecration with the Palme d'Or in 2010 for Uncle Boonmee, the one who remembers of his previous lives. He was the first director from the South-East Asia region to receive this prestigious award.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Bangkok in 1970, Apitchapong Weerasethakul studied architecture and then cinema in Chicago before pursuing experimental creation. He currently lives in Chiang Mai in the North-West of Thailand. His work has been presented in collections and exhibitions of contemporary art and in international film festivals and has received many awards, notably the Palme d’or in 2010.