The work explores the memorialisation of histories and geographies in cinematic tableaux and dissolving 3D scanning artefacts. Focusing on the Mae Klong River, internationally known as the “River Kwai” and its association with the defunct Burma Railway, Supasuthivech reveals how this remote region in Kanchanaburi (Thailand) has been divorced from its heritage and transformed into a spectacle for official interests. He draws attention to the marginalised Asian workforce involved in the construction of the railway and criticises the lack of recognition of their sacrifice. The total number of workers included 51,000 British, Dutch and American prisoners of war, 9,500 Australians and over 270,000 conscripted Asian workers from China, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. By juxtaposing rites and gestures of remembrance, the artist illustrates that despite different approaches to dealing with loss and mortality, there is a universal human core yearning to unfold. Furthermore the work questions the cultural impact of historically inaccurate representations, such as the film “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, and their effect on local agency and self-perception, such as the renaming of a section of the river.
Saroot Supasuthivech *1991, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand
The on-going screening series Phantom Horizons presents digital as well as analogue works that question the paradigm of linear perspective, seeking a new kind of “status perspective” [Bedeutungsperspektive]. The latter was a development of ancient and medieval painting, in which the size of figures is determined by their hierarchical significance. Extending this approach using the methodology of deconstruction and the possibilities of contemporary film creation, the presented works open up multifaceted, unseen horizons.
Curated by Robert Seidel
10.08. – 20.09.2023
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm