Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness

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September 16–December 8
Reception: Friday, September 15, 6:00–9:00 p.m., presented in conjunction with EXPO Chicago art fair's Art After Hours

Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's (MFA 1997, HON 2011) work reveals stories often excluded in history in and out of Thailand: voices of the poor and the ill, marginalized beings, and those silenced and censored for personal and political reasons. SAIC's Sullivan Galleries will present the US premiere of Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness, curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong (MA 1996) and produced by Independent Curators International, New York. This exhibition presents a selected survey of rarely-seen experimental short films and video installations by Weerasethakul, alongside his photography, drawings, sketches, and archival material that explore threads of sociopolitical commentary. His passionate positions regarding class, labor, sexuality, science and spirituality have informed his practice from early in his career to the present. Organized with Graduate Curatorial Assistants, Katie Cato (MAAH 2018), Luna Goldberg (MAAH 2018), and Désirée Coral Guerra (MFA 2018).



Related programs

Curator's Tour
With exhibition curator Gridthiya Gaweewong (MA 1996), Artistic Director of the Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok
Monday, September 18, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor



Visiting Artists Program
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series

Tuesday, September 19, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.
Lecture Information



Screening Series
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

This series includes select films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul throughout the month of October. Featured titles include: Cemetery of Splendor, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Syndromes and a Century, and Tropical Malady. Please refer to the Gene Siskel Film Center for dates, times, and admission costs.



"Tropical Malady: Queerness and Political Critique in the Cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul"
Lecture by visiting scholar Arnika Fuhrmann, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University
Wednesday, October 4, 6:00 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

This talk investigates the ability of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul to mobilize the distinctly local while at the same time producing transnationally legible aesthetics of visual representation. It pays special attention to the ways in which Weerasethakul draws on Buddhism to present political critique and represent queerness in innovative ways.

Arnika Fuhrmann is an interdisciplinary scholar of Southeast Asia, working at the intersections of the region's aesthetic and political modernities. Her book Ghostly Desires: Queer Sexuality and Vernacular Buddhism in Contemporary Thai Cinema (Duke University Press, 2016) examines how Buddhist-coded anachronisms of haunting figure struggles over sexuality, personhood, and notions of collectivity in contemporary Thai cinema and political rhetoric.


Where is Asia in Asian Art?
The Whereabouts of Cultural Content in Art

Wednesday, November 8, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

A discussion moderated by Art History, Theory, and Criticism Professor Nora A. Taylor, including Pakistani artist Bani Abidi and Professor Jennifer Lee among others.



Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness is a traveling exhibition curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai; the ICI Board of Trustees and ICI's International Forum. The presentation at SAIC Sullivan Galleries has been organized in collaboration with the SAIC Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

 

Image courtesy of the artist and Independent Curators International Image courtesy of the artist and Independent Curators International Image courtesy of the artist and Independent Curators International Image courtesy of the artist and Independent Curators International