KORAKRIT ARUNANONDCHAI and ALEX GVOJIC
“PRAY” (Songs for living in a room filled with people with funny names)
10.03 - 24.04.2022
“Fire and heat provide modes of explanation in the most varied domains, because they have been for us the occasion for the unforgettable memories, for simple and decisive personal experiences. Fire is thus a privileged phenomenon which can explain anything. If all that changes slowly may be explained by life, all that changes quickly is explained by fire. Fire is the ultra-living element. It is intimate and it is universal. It lives in our heart. It lives in the sky. It rises from the depths of the substance and offers itself with the warmth of love. Or it can back down into the substance and hide there, latent and pent-up, like hate and vengeance. Among all phenomena, it is really the only one to which there can be so definitely attributed the oozing values of good and evil. It shines in Paradise, It burns in Hell. It is gentleness and torture. It is cookery and it is apocalypse” It is a pleasure for the good child sitting presently by the hearth; yet it punishes any disobedience when the child wishes to play too close to its flames. It is well-being and it is respect. It is a tutelary and terrible divinity, both good and bad, it can contradict itself; thus it is one of the principles of universal explanation”
— Excerpt from Psychoanalysis of Fire by Gaston Bachelard
BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY is pleased to present “PRAY” (Songs for living in a room filled with people with funny names) by Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic. A large-scale installation, totalling 40 minutes duration on an infinite loop, the exhibition will be on view to the public from March 10–April 24, 2022.
“Songs for living’’ provides excerpts from Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace, Edouard Glissant’s Sun of Consciousness, and On Prayer, a poem by the Polish-American poet, Czesław Miłosz. From separate times and places these writers survived under oppres- sive regimes with the provocation of their art. What they had in common was that they fought for a spiritual clarity amidst the forcefulness of symbolic communions. It is from this space of holding onto the uncertain, which allowed them to refuse. Instead of speaking directly to their rulers, they found ways to make songs, using the discards left over from the struggles of power.
I am not saying we are powerless. I am no longer interested in power. I am asking,
who is it that we pray to? Are these prayers meant to unite us with our legitimate rulers or do they only take us somewhere further away?
“and all I know is
that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
walking it we are aloft
as on a springboard
the color of ripe gold
transformed by a magic stopping of the sun
that bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
where everything is just the opposite and the word “is”
unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned
notice I say “we”
separately feels compassion for the others entangled in the flesh and knows that if there is no other shore
we will walk that aerial bridge all the same
all the same”
— On Prayer by Czesław Miłosz
“PRAY” (Songs for living in a room filled with people with funny names) by Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic will be at BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY(Sathorn Soi 1 – near Lumphini MRT station – parking at 123 Parking). The exhibition will run from Thursday March 10 to Sunday April 24, 2022. The gallery’s new operation hours for 2022 is Thursday to Sunday, 13:00–18:00 hrs.
b. 1986, Bangkok, Thailand
Lives in New York, USA. Works in New York and Bangkok
A visual artist, filmmaker, and storyteller, Korakrit Arunanondchai employs his versatile practice to tell stories embedded in cultural transplantation and hybridity. His body of work merges fiction with poetry and offers synesthetic experiences engaged in a multitude of subjects primarily based on lives of family, friends, and colleagues as much as local myths.