This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com
My fifteenth poll is inspired by one of my most favorite films in February 2008. It’s a short film I saw in the art exhibition called WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE ENCORE (2008, Wantanee Siripattanantakul), which is a part of a group exhibition called PARADISE ENGINEERING (curated by Chattiya Nitpolprasert) at Art Center Chula. I don’t know if this short film has its own name or not. I just know that this short film was first shown as a part of a solo exhibition called A WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE last year. So I apply the name of the first exhibition as the name of this short film.
When I went to see PARADISE ENGINEERING, I watched this short film on a TV. I don’t remember its exact details. I apologize in advance if I remember anything wrongly. This short film looks like a TV documentary made by Arte France. It consists of some foreign artists talking about Wantanee Siripattanantakul, claiming she is one of the most important artists in Europe. It also shows some clips from Wantanee’s previous videos. It seems Wantanee has made many artful videos in the past. The exhibition also displays details of her previous works in large letters on the wall. It seems she took part in many famous art exhibitions. Her works were shown in many galleries around the world. She is included in the book ART NOW or something like that. I was a bit surprised when I found that the exhibition also told us where or which gallery would display her work in 2009 or 2010. I had never thought a gallery would plan some exhibitions for one or two years in advance.
I thought this exhibition was a bit boring. How could a list of artist’s works or a list of galleries showing the artist’s work be interesting? Why didn’t the exhibition show the artist’s works? It showed only the list of works, but didn’t show the works. However, I thought this exhibition was very useful, because at least it introduced me to Wantanee. I had never heard the name of this important Thai video artist before.
A few days later, one of my friends asked me if I could make a list of several Thai video artists for him. I tried to make a list, including Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Montri Toemsombat, etc. Then I thought about Wantanee. Judging from the short film I saw, she seemed to be very famous. Maybe I should include her name in the list. I googled her name, finding nearly no result. Why couldn’t I find any information about one of the most important artists in Europe on the internet? I asked myself. Suddenly I understood why.
THESE FILMS MAY BE MOCKUMENTARIES. WHICH FILM DO YOU LIKE?
1.THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999, Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez, USA)
2.CLOVERFIELD (2008, Matt Reeves, USA)
3.DAVID HOLZMAN’S DIARY (1967, Jim McBride, USA)
4.F FOR FAKE (1974, Orson Welles)
5.FORGOTTEN SILVER (1995, Costa Botes, Peter Jackson, New Zealand)
6.HOW TO MAKE A GOOD ART FOR GET WIN AWARD (Vasan Sitthiket, Thailand)
7.INTERVIEW (2003, Jeanne Faust, Germany)
I really believed this was an actual interview, a real documentary. But the information on the internet told us that the film is staged.
8.KOMBI NATION (2003, Grant Lahood, New Zealand)
I believed this was a real documentary when I was watching the first part of this film. Only when things started to get weird that I came to realize that this is a mockumentary.
9.THE LOVE MACHINE (1999, Gordon Eriksen, USA)
Many viewers, including me, really believed this film is a real documentary. We came to realize that the film is fictional when we saw the ending credit.
10.LUDWIG’S COOK (1973, Hans-Juergen Syberberg, West Germany)
11.MAN BITES DOG (1992, Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde, Belgium)
12.MY LITTLE EYE (2002, Marc Evans, UK)
13.SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS (2001, Daniel Minahan, USA)
14.SURF’S UP (2007, Ash Brannon, Chris Buck, USA)
15.TEN TINY LOVE STORIES (2001, Rodrigo Garcia, USA)
I believed this film is a real documentary. When I was watching this film, I wondered why some women had such vivid memory, why they remembered some details in the past very vividly. I don’t have a good memory like that. But I still believed everything they said is true. A few days later, I talked about this film with Sonthaya Subyen, and he told me that the film is fictional.
16.A TOUGH CREATURE WHO BURDENS THE EARTH (2004, Paisit Panpruegsachart, Thailand)
The first part of this film is undoubtedly mockumentary. It shows a Thai film director being interviewed by an alien. The second part of this film, which shows him and his film crew being questioned by the police, is a real documentary. The next part of this film, which shows him and his girlfriend going upcountry, looks like a real documentary. It is so natural, so life-like. Many viewers also thought like me. We believed the rural part of this film was a real documentary.
After the film, there was a Q&A with the director, we were totally surprised to learn that the whole rural part is fictional, though there were some improvised moments.
I don’t know the official English title of this film. The official Thai title of this film is SAT WIBAK NAK LOK, which can be literally translated as A TOUGH CREATURE WHO BURDENS THE EARTH.
I don’t know which year I should apply to this film. I think this film was finished in 2004, but it got a world premiere at Bioscope Magazine office in 2008. I don’t know if I should use the year 2004 or 2008 for this feature film.
17.…UNPRONOUNCABLE IN THE LINGUISTIC IMPERIALISM OF YOURS (2008, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Thailand)
This film shows an interview with a female Thai artist. For the first half of this film, my friend and I believed it was a real documentary. We only came to realize that this film is a mockumentary when the artist starts talking about her masturbation show.
18.UOD DEE (ARROGANT) (2003, Sompot Chidgasornpongse, Thailand)
I wrote about this film a few months ago. At that time I transcribed the title of this film as AOD DEE.
19.A WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE (2007, Wantanee Siripattananantakul, Thailand)
20.WELCOME TO HOLLYWOOD (2000, Tony Markes, Adam Rifkin, USA)
This film really looks like a real documentary. I like Angie Everhart in this film very much.
You can cast multilpe votes.
Have you ever been fooled by any mockumentaries?
–WANTANEE RETROPECTIVE ENCORE shows me how blind I was. There are many clues which hint that the entire exhibition, or the entire biography of Wantanee, is fictional, but I overlooked them. This exhibition, including its short mockumentary, gives me the great lesson of this year: I am unable to distinguish fact from fiction, and I should not overlook any details.
–I think WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE ENCORE (2008) is the restaging of the exhibition A WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE (2007), which I didn’t visit. There was a seminar on A WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE. The details of the seminar in Thai can be read at:
In the seminar, Jakapan Vilasineekul commented that the exhibition A WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE was aimed at the viewers who already had some knowledge in art, and compared this exhibition to some works of Michael Asher, because some of Asher’s exhibitions can only be appreciated by people who already had some knowledge in art, too. One of the most interesting exhibitions of Asher is the one he did for the museum in Bern in 1980. His exhibition consisted of removing all heaters in the museum building and putting them outside, so that the viewers would realize that heaters or anything in an art exhibition, are actually parts of the language of the artist, not just the artworks shown.
–You can view some works of Jakapan Vilasineekul here:
–Some information on Michael Asher can be found in the book CONCEPTUAL ART by Daniel Marzona. Here are some excerpts from the book:
“In 1969 Asher publicly exhibited one of his AIRWORKS for the first time at the group exhibition THE APPERING/DISAPPEARING IMAGE/OBJECT. In the vicinity of the entrance zone a fan, not visible to the public, generated between the ceiling and the floor a constant flow of air, which could be transversed by visitors to the exhibition.”
“In 1973, in the Galleria Franco Toselli in Milan, ….He decided on the spot to remove the white paint from all the walls and ceilings of the gallery with a sand-blaster. Beneath the many coats of the white paint, the brown plaster eventually came to light, and with it the various alterations to the building that had been undertaken over the years.”
“Asher himself pointed to the central aspect of the work when he observed: “Traditionally, the white interior of a commercial gallery presented an artist’s production within an architectural setting of false autonomy. If, through its abstinence, the viewer was reminded of the white paint, an interesting question was then raised: How does the white ‘partition’ of paint affect the context of art usually seen on that support surface?””
You can buy the book CONCEPTUAL ART here.