Korakrit Arunanondchai

Rewind forward: Narratives of a Near Future conference looks at the past, present + future at Genève’s HEAD, Dec 14 – 15

14 December 2017

The Narratives of a Near Future international conference is on at Genève’s HEAD on December 14 and 15.

Bringing together an interdisciplinary panel of artists, scholars and designers, the event “addresses the challenges that the next generation will have to meet.” For its 10th edition, participants will explore four central themes: 

‘Rewind Forward’ looks at past, present and future, ‘Inhabit the Anthropocene’ examines the relationship between humans and the environment, ‘Decoding/Recoding’ concerns economy and digitization, and ‘Collective Super Egos’ will explore hybridity and fluidness in the body.

Through a series of talks, performances and screenings, Narratives of a Near Future 2017 will feature Marguerite HumeauMetahavenJussi Parikka Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil JoreigeJ.G BiberkopfCécile B. EvansKorakrit ArunanondchaiLauren HuretYing Gao and Mathis Gasser, among many others.

Visit the HEAD website for details.**

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Clash of the clinical + the organic in Korakrit Arunanondchai’s with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4

20 April 2017
Korakrit Arunanondchai presented solo exhibition with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4 at New York’s C L E A R I N G, which opened March 11 and is running to May 7, 2017.
The multimedia installation is divided into three rooms; the first presents the New York/Bangkok-based artists’ new HD video in a darkened space with pillows and a costume. The second is a room overflowing with growth. Electrical wires and roots of dead trees morph into one another, mixed with bamboo, banana leaves, coconuts, carpet, resin and prayer objects for the nāga deity. Clinical and organic clash with intravenous bags, old car parts and seafood waste, among many other objects, are held together by surround sound.
The third room is quiet, clean and minimal, bringing an elasticated sense of time together as the objects are made by Tipyavarna Nitibhon (b.1927). The video also includes Arunanondchai’s grandmother stroking some of the lit blown glass pods that are in room two; a gesture that writer Annie Godfrey Larmon notes in the accompanying text, “she could have no context, and of which no memory will likely be created.” 
Korakrit Arunanondchai,
with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4 (2017) Installation view. Courtesy the artist + C L E A R I N G, New York.
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Private Settings @ MOMAW, Sep 25 – Jan 6

24 September 2014

A mammoth survey of some of the world’s most influential emerging and established artists and collectives, Private Settings, Art after the Internet, is happening at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (MOMAW), opening September 25 and running to January 6, 2015.

Curated by the Polish institute’s Natalia Sielewicz, the show press release reads like a search engine optimised article around the dominant art discourse of the last decade. Littered with tag words like “affect”, “authenticity” and “anonymity”; “prosumer”, “late capitalism” and “stock photographs”, the lineup is an equally expansive overview of some of the most relevant contemporary art of the day.

A good handful of its producers include Ed Atkins, Darja Bajagić, CUSS Group and Daniel Keller; Harm van den Dorpel, Loretta Fahrenholz, Metahaven and Yuri Pattison; Hannah Perry, Bunny Rogers, Pamela Rosenkranz and Ryan Trecartin from a roster that is too long to list, for an exhibition (including collateral events) that purports to track a generation born before the turn of the century and brought up on the internet.

It’s another bold attempt at categorising the uncategorisable swell of artists rising from the milieu of online awareness, the same way that the Art Post-Internet exhibition in Beijing earlier this year did with its title’s integrated umbrella-term for ‘kind of a product of the internet but not entirely’ and more nebulous objective, spanning a broader generational cross-section.

Interestingly, the Private Settings sub-heading is identical to that of the Omar Kholeif-edited book You Are Here: Art After the Internet published in April. It’s unclear whether the reference is intended but there is some overlap with contributing artists also featured in the MOMAW exhibition, including Jon Rafman and Jesse Darling, perhaps revealing a consciousness for a shared experience, however incomprehensible that experience might be.

See the MOMAW website for details. **

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Beware Wet Paint @ ICA, Sep 23 – Nov 16

22 September 2014

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) is hosting the Beware Wet Paint group exhibition at their London space from September 23 to November 16.

The collaborative exhibition features a variety of artists for whom “painting forms a single strand within a multidisciplinary practice”. Among them is target painter Ned Vena, the so-called ‘word painter’ Christopher Wool, as well works by ‘denim-painter’ Korakrit Arunanondchai (whose 2557 show is also running at London’s Carlos/Ishikawa), Isabelle Cornaro, Jeff Elrod, Nikolas Gambaroff, Parker ItoDavid Ostrowski, and Pamela Rosenkranz.

The exhibition, derived from a quote by Marcel Duchamp, underlines the potential disruptiveness of an otherwise traditional art form in the hands of those said to be ‘practicing without a license’, a phrase used to describe Wool’s work at Guggenheim talk.

Alongside the standard physical exhibition, Beware Wet Paint will also feature Discussing Beware Wet Paint with ICA Executive Director Gregor Muir and artists Oscar Murillo and Brian Fay on September 24, as well as a Gallery Tour with Muir on October 2.

See the ICA exhibition page for details. **


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Korakrit Arunanondchai @ Carlos/Ishikawa, Sep 16 – Oct 28

15 September 2014

Carlos/Ishikawa contemporary art space is hosting the latest exhibition from Korakrit Arunanondchai, titled 2557 (Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names 2) and running at the London space from September 16 to October 28. 

The exhibition, done in collaboration with Korakrit’s twin brother, Korapat Arunanondchai, comes as the first solo UK exhibition for the Bangkok-born artist, following in the footsteps of his solo debut, Painting with History in a Room Filled with Men with Funny Names, at Bushwick’s    C L E A R I N G Gallery in 2013.

Spanning diverse disciplines and using unusual materials has always been part of Arunanondchai’s method, whether with the photographs and denim paintings made with bleach and fire he created for his Bushwick exhibition, or the paintings and video installations he made in collaboration with Korapat for his upcoming UK show.

Creating video trailers for each of his shows has also become a bit of a trademark, and you can enjoy the trailer for the upcoming 2557 exhibition below.

See the Carlos/Ishikawa exhibition page for details. **


“2557” (Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names 2) (Trailer) (feat. Harry Bornstein) from Korakrit Arunanondchai on Vimeo.

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FIAC Paris reviewed

6 November 2013

Testing the upper limits of the most initiated audience in terms of appetite, this year’s marathon FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair) draws its public’s mercilessly selective attention to what creates turmoil in the small world of art. Collectors and amateurs could discover as much as 184 exhibitors representing 25 countries at the Grand Palais, but also associated outdoor projects in the Tuileries Garden, the Jardin des Plantes and along the Seine River. Going from strength to strength since Jennifer Flay took the reigns as Director of the fair, focus now lies on promoting the FIAC to an international audience.

That said, it’s also important to remember that the FIAC doesn’t aim to satisfy a penchant for innovation at all costs. It primarily embodies the standard course of glamour, monumental works and blockbuster artists, as well the highest, heaviest and more expansive art, while also being a wanderlust for a dose of spectacular, odd sights and irreverent pranks. There has been significant revision of the contemporary art dogma, though. Indeed, the commercial side and speculative flavour of the fair has given way to friendly gallery owners, increasingly willing to curate their own stands. One of the main reasons is the desertion of the bigger galleries, now relocated to regions with high volumes of trade. The Peter Freeman’s booth was the most striking example of a bold curatorial choice, arranging the floor in the baseball bats by David Adamo with a Giacometti sculpture at the centre of the installation and photos by James Welling on the walls. In the emerging section, the solo booth project by Société Réaliste, named CLASSi-FICaTION and curated by the promising Jérôme Poggi, looked like an exhibition room with a proper hanging. The Parisian cooperative founded by Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy in June 2004 is booming and demonstrates that contemporary artists are not uncultivated, with a penchant for artworks historically referenced and mischievously formed. A well-executed job to the benefit of a universal language ensuring a delight of the eye and spirit.

In the wake of that, at the Young International Artists Art Fair (YIA), the attractive and iconoclastic collective Nøne Futbol Club, lying uncomfortably between joy and denunciation through its emphatic proposal. In ‘Work n°888’, the slogan “GET RICH” is written in sparrow droppings, relieved from letter-shaped perches, the second-degree humour a gateway to a socially and politically engaged subject.

At the Bastille design center (YIA), Lyes Hammadouche was an interesting find which almost went unnoticed, among otherwise unexciting projects. A finalist in last year’s Tous pour l´art – Alles für die Kunst (All in Favour of Art) –a documentary television series aired on Franco-German TV channel, ARTE –and protégé to jury-member Caroline Smulders, Hammadouche’s main source of inspiration is time, smartly dissected, monitored, and challenged. Superb in its simplicity, ‘1/60’’ shows a second hand breaking down into as many pieces as seconds elapsed.

When entertainment itself doesn’t bring an artist to the fore, it may drive them in their practice, as with Korakrit Arunanondchai, starting his European career with Brooklyn’s C L E A R I N G gallery. Inspired by his favourite Thai performance artist Duangjai Jansaunoi, mostly known as the Thailand’s Got Talent ‘boob painter’, Arunanondchai decided to experience painting using his body for a whole year. From there, emerge paintings created using digitally-printed flames, superimposition and texture-mapping with bleached pieces of denim resembling earth from outer space. Obviously, we’re in the presence of a new form of digital expressionism.

But the focus on performance also turns to the Internet. The Berlin-based net artist Constant Dullaart, at the XPO Gallery stand of Loft Sévigné (YIA) is a case in point. Here, his famous webpage Revolving Internet features the Google search page spinning to the tune of Dusty Springfield’s ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’, as she sings, “the world is like an apple, whirling silently in space”, alluding to those backroom dealings that fool no one, while lulling them to sleep. For the prank, Google blocked the i-frame and removed all the comments from Dullaart’s millions of hits in 2011, citing security reasons before developing their own rotating page –just type “do a barrel roll” in the search field and see.

Korakrit Arunanondchai, ‘Untitled (Body Painting 2)’ (2013). Image courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G.

Photography was notably absent from FIAC overall, the best pieces no doubt reserved for Paris Photo Art Fair, coming in two weeks. Nonetheless, outside of the overrun grounds, there was the work of the Belgium’s Geert Goiris at Private Choice in a historic Parisian house. Describing his work as “traumatic realism”, the artist captures authentic places cleared of any recognisable geographical, social or physical features to generate purely mental images.

Though there’s little truth to the presumption that one learns through comparison, you could argue that the FIAC is an object in itself, to be admired  in the same way as a masterpiece like Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’. The single most important factor to make such a comparison is the undeniable mimetic desire at work. It is not about desiring the thing itself but being like everyone who saw the thing. The fact that so many visitors emerge for celebration creates a feeling that it’s worthwhile. And there is no reason to expect that this would change. Buried in the Porte de Versailles Métro station only ten years ago, since then the FIAC has flourished into a fully-mastered curatorial service with a clear and distinct identity, while its exceptional setting in the Palais and its fitting natural light exert beneficial immunology effects. The on- and off-site events are like the yin and yang of what has been labelled ‘Paris Art Week’. Inextricably tangled up with one another, the ‘on’ only enhances the visibility of the ‘off’, while the latter relieves the congestion from the ‘on’, often deemed too generalist. By shifting focus across different areas of the market –digital art at Show Off, folk art at Outsider Art Fair or the under-the-radar scene at YIA –it is thus beyond dispute that there is a pacific ‘balkanization’ of the fairs. Some art stakeholders regret it, others hope it will give them a chance to participate in that great mass of contemporary art. **

FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair) is an annual event running at October at Grand Palais.

Header image: Nøne Futbol Club, ‘Work n°888, Get rich’ (2013). Courtesy of the Republic Gallery.

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