Friday, December 19, 2008

Apichatpong's Primitive emerging

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's next project, Primitive, is well under way as it is being prepared for its debut next year.

Not just merely a short film, it's a multi-platform piece of art that is being touted as "his most ambitious project to date". It will be shown and exhibited in a variety of venues during what is being described by producer Keith Griffiths as "The year of Apichatpong Weerasethakul". Here's more details about the project from an article by Griffiths' for Illuminations Media:

This extended multi-platform project has the working title of Primitive and is inspired by Joe’s researches in the north-east of Thailand, focussing on the village of Nabua. It takes further his pre-occupations with memory and re-incarnation while exploring the hidden history of oppression of the people of the region and in particular the current teenage generation.

An ambitious multi-screen installation will be the centrepiece of the Primitive project. It includes a music video and features the teens of Nabua and an interview with a monkey ghost. The installation will be presented at Munich's Haus der Kunst from 20 February to 17 May and then at FACT in Liverpool from 25 September to 29 November, followed by other international presentations in 2010. This multi-platform work has been commissioned by the Haus der Kunst, FACT and Animate Projects, London, and is being produced by Apichatpong’s Thai company, Kick the Machine, with Illuminations Films, London.

As well as the installation there will be a short film entitled Primitive: A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, which will be presented in two versions, one for cinema or television, the other to be on-line on the website of Animate Projects. And both versions will premiere to coincide with the opening of the installation in Munich in February. The film is in the form of a letter from a man who can recall his past lives and who will also be a central character in the forthcoming feature by Apichatpong, which Illuminations Films is preparing for production in 2009.

Throughout March and April, substantial retrospective screenings of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s feature films, short films and other single screen works will be presented at the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna, the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin and the Munich Film Museum. To accompany these screenings, the Austrian Film Museum, will be publishing the first monograph in English on his work, edited by James Quandt. It will include contributions by Quandt, Benjamin Anderson, Mark Cousins, Tony Rayns, Kong Rithdee and Tilda Swinton with additional writings by Apichatpong himself. Wallflower Press will distribute the monograph internationally.

Another unique part of this complex project will be, Primitive, an artist’s book, with an extensive selection of interviews that Apichatpong has gathered with the people of the north-east region of Thailand, around their memories and experiences. These will be combined with a photo-documentation of the teens of Nabua. The book will be published in English by Edizioni Zero in Milan and also to coincide with the Munich opening of the Primitive installation in February.

The Animate Projects website is loaded with photos and facts about Primitive. And Animate Projects co-director Jacqui Davies has written about a set visit to Nabua in November.

Apichatpong has received funding for Primitive from Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund and from Berlin's World Cinema Fund.

(Via Animate Projects)

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