Ghost, the ultra-cool triennial that artist Korakrit Arunanondchai launched in Bangkok, returns full of fresh ideas

Ghost is back. Launched in 2018 by Akapol Op Sudasna and Korakrit Arunanondchai, the well-attended experimental and performance art triennial is set to return to Bangkok for its first post-pandemic edition next month, this time led by curator Christina Li and with the title “ Live Without Dead Time.”

Technically, the new edition is called “Ghost 2565”, with the number referring to that year’s date in the Buddhist calendar. As for its title, it is the translation of a poetic graffiti of May 68 in Paris: “live without dead time”.

Ghost 2565 will feature moving image works by thirteen artists, including Emily Wardill, Diane Severin Nguyen and Wu Tsang with Tosh Basco. It is expected to feature brand new films from Chantana Tiprachart and Tulapop Saenjaroen, and feature a live performance program from Koki Tanaka, Orawan Arunrak, Pan Daijing and Rabih Mroué (with Hito Steyerl).

“It’s more like a festival than an exhibition in some ways,” Arunanondchai told Artnet News.

Ghost takes place in seven scattered locations, including the Bangkok CityCity Gallery, the Jim Thompson Art Center and Nova Contemporary. Baan Trok Tua Ngork will serve as the event’s central hub, hosting rallies, public programming and something called Wendy’s Wok World, “a character-driven alter-ego culinary project,” according to the release, “in residence while throughout Ghost with a special menu of wok dishes.”

Wu Tsang, The show is over (2020). Produced by Schauspielhaus Zürich, co-commissioned by Lafayette Foundation. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

Notably, while the show has informational pamphlets handy, no Ghost artwork will come with wall text. It’s a way of rejecting the notion of a typical Western art format, where “there’s something to get or something not to get”, according to Arunanondchai.

Instead, the artist-founder has been working since the first Ghost in 2018 to cultivate a program where twelve local facilitators who have studied and discussed the content of this edition facilitate dialogue in the “Storyteller Class”, spreading critical information on the exhibited works. for participants in weekly public broadcasts. Arunanondchai considers these hosts to be psychics, literally channeling Ghost.

Still by Meriem Bennani, Life on the CAPS, 2022. Courtesy of the artist; CLEARING, New York/Brussels; and Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles/New York

“A lot of people who came as participants or to perform naturally end up being part of it,” Arunanondchai said.

Li, the director of Spring Workshop in Hong Kong, visited on Ghost’s last day in 2018 and says she was inspired. “I didn’t know what to expect and was struck by the spirit of hospitality and generosity,” she told Artnet News. “You can really feel that the festival was not only designed for, but also struck a chord with the young local artistic community who were really receptive and enthusiastic to explore and be immersed in the works. presented.” She added that she hopes the festival “can be a model for rethinking ideas of engagement and engagement” far beyond Bangkok.

For “Live Without Dead Time,” its curatorial strategy began with a lengthy research journey after travel restrictions were eased late last year, visiting Thailand and elsewhere. “I was drawn to [Thai artists] Tulapop Saenjaroen, Orawan Arunrak and Chantana Tiprachat as filmmakers and their unique way of telling stories,” she said, explaining her process. “For other regional and international artists, I have taken care to highlight practices, struggles or topics that may resonate with local audiences. [in Bangkok].”

Video again. Æther, 2021, Shuang Li. Courtesy of Peres Projects

When Arunanondchai launched Phantom, he envisaged three editions in total, spaced three years apart. The inclusion of an outside curator in Ghost 2565 marks a planned step in the natural evolution of the event. Ideally, Arunanondchai would like the Bangkok scene to be the focus of the next round.

Its ambitions also go beyond that. He envisions Ghost as an alternative type of space, creating a zone between the consumer space of Bangkok’s modern malls and the sacred space of its ancient temples. “It’s about spending time,” Arunanondchai explained, “not necessarily watching something.”

“Ghost 2565: Live Without Dead Time” takes place in locations across Bangkok from October 12 to November 13, 2022.

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