press release

"Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Primitive" is the first New York exhibition devoted to the work of the internationally acclaimed Thai artist and filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Primitive (2009)—which is having its American debut at the New Museum—is his most ambitious project to date: a multi-platform work consisting of an installation of eight videos, which is expanded here with an additional short film. Weerasethakul's works are often set in the lush forests and quiet villages of the rural Isaan region of Thailand.

The Primitive project was first conceived by Weerasethakul during the research for his most recent feature film, the award-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives (2010). Primitive focuses on the farming village of Nabua and the political and social history of its inhabitants. Nabua was the site of clashes between the Thai military and communist-sympathizing farmers during the 1960s and '70s. Brutal repression by the military forced many of the local male farmers into hiding, leaving the village inhabited primarily by women and children. Primitive melds documentary and fiction as it follows the activities of a group of male teenagers, descendants of the lost generation of Nabua's men. The loose narrative of this work centers upon the building of a spaceship that can link the villagers to the past and the future. The intersecting videos map and illuminate the architecture and landscape of Nabua and capture the men in moments of creativity, play, and remembrance.

only in german

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Kuratoren: Massimiliano Gioni, Gary Carrion-Murayari