Sunday, October 16, 2011

VILLAGE AND ELSEWHERE (2011, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, A+++++)

One thing that I think is very interesting in this exhibition is its censorship. If I understand it correctly, in one of the two videos shown in this exhibition, the real story about a female killer in the village is censored from the video. But I'm not entirely sure about this.

In one of the two videos, a monk is trying to teach some moral lessons to the villagers by using a photo of Jeff Koons and the painting JUDITH BEHEADING HOLOFERNES by Artemisia Gentileschi as his teaching props. It seems that the brutal killing done by women in JUDITH BEHEADING HOLOFERNES reminds the monk of some real murders in the village happening a long time ago. But when the monk starts talking to the villagers about this real murder, the scene stops. Then we see what seems to happen after a few minutes have passed and after the story of the real murder case has already been told. If I remember it correctly, the monk said something like this to the children, "You can ask Aunt Da about this. She will not chop your heads off."

I have seen this video only once, so I'm not sure if I understand it correctly or remember it correctly. But I guess the monk may have talked about a female killer in the village, but the story is censored from the video to avoid some troubles with some living persons. I find it very interesting. It seems reality has triumphed over fiction again. The painting JUDITH BEHEADING HOLOFERNES may look extremely horrifying, but it may be less horrifying than the real story about a female killer in that Thai village.

Maybe I just misunderstand it. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I also like it very much that this video makes me realize that many ancient Thai paintings on the walls of many Thai temples are "comparable" to these works of Jeff Koons and Artemisia, because the ancient Thai paintings talk about immoral things, too.

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