The programme for Second Floor will kick off with the spectacular installation Primitive (2009) by the Thai film director, video artist and architect Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Weerasethakul, one of the most important filmmakers of our day, rose to prominence in the film world when he won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2010 with the film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives − the jewel in the crown of this film project about historical memory, transformation and rebirth.
Primitive is set in the village of Nabua in north-east Thailand, which suffered a cruel fate during the Thai army’s campaign against Communism from the 1960s to the 1980s − a chapter of history which today has largely been repressed in the collective memory of the Thai people. During the occupation by the authorities a large proportion of the men of the village disappeared, which in Weerasethakul’s cinematic universe finds a symbolic counterpart in the region’s ancient legend about a ghost widow who kidnaps any man who enters her realm.
On the basis of local spiritism and mythology, the story of Nabua is reawakened in the borderland between fact and fiction. Through the use of consistent imagery, ranging from the semi-documentary to the poetical and dream-like, the widow town is reinterpreted as a community of men freed from the ghost widow. The men, descendants of the Communist peasants, lead the way on a journey that creates memories and dream scenarios in the jungle.
The exhibition, which has been created in collaboration with CPH PIX, consists of seven short, interdependent film sequences which, scattered around the upper floor, give the experience a spatial dimension. The observer can move freely in and out of the various parts of the work, which can be seen both individually and as criss-crossing correspondences.