Working outside the strict confines of the Thai film studio system, renowned Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has directed several acclaimed features and dozens of short films, including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, winner of the prestigious 2010 Palme d’Or prize at Cannes; Tropical Malady, winner of a 2004 Cannes jury prize; Blissfully Yours, winner of the top prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard program in 2002; and Syndromes and a Century, which premiered at the 63rd Venice Film Festival. Themes in Weerasethakul’s films include dreams, nature, sexuality and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia; the director also shows a preference for unconventional narrative structures, like placing titles/credits at the middle of a film, and for working with those who have no previous experience of acting. For Tomorrow For Tonight features new work exploring the theme of night through video, photographs and installation.
The Belgian-born artist Francis Alys (born 1959) is known for his walks and tales executed in a wide range of media (documentary film, painting, photography, performance, video and installation) that marry humor and sensitivity, banality and spontaneity, personal and political. A compulsive wanderer, many of his works involve intense observation and recording of the social, cultural and economic conditions of urban life. This beautifully designed volume presents an ongoing series of paintings that function as kind of a storyboard and archive of the artist’s oeuvre to date. Begun in 1996, Le Temps du Sommeil(“The Time of Sleep”) comprises over 100 paintings accompanied by instructions and postcards related–sometimes obliquely–to the artist’s past performative actions. The instructions and paintings are presented en face, giving birth to a text-image dialogue that is sometimes witty and always fascinating. Le Temps du Sommeilaffirms Alys yet again as an artist always able to surprise.
This publication–at once a daybook, a survey (it accompanies the artist’s first exhibition in Ireland) and an artist’s book–collects eight previous publications on the American artist Jack Pierson, several of which are long out of print. Pierson was among the first photographers to print pages with the imagery bleeding out of its usual white frame, and to deploy a bleached-out and overexposed style of photography that connotes a longing for a recent but already dimming past, littered with the props and players of yesterday’s parties. By small increments, an emotional tone builds that is both warmly homoerotic and unabashedly wistful. All of these books were designed by the artist and are here reproduced in their original size and in chronological order.
Jack Pierson makes photographs, word sculptures, installations, drawings and artist’s books that excavate the emotional undercurrents of everyday life, from the intimacy of romantic attachment to the remote idolizing of the famous. Pierson has often engaged celebrity culture, refusing ironic treatment of the subject to instead confess, or seem to confess, his own attraction to the fantasy life depicted in his artworks. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Cheim & Read, New York; Alison Jacques Gallery, London and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. His work is held in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Stairs, ladders and lifts are the motifs of Thomas Demand’s latest monograph, L’Esprit d’Escalier, which is published on the occasion of his show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. The title actually refers to so-called “staircase wit,” that concise French expression for the chagrin of missed retorts–those hapless comebacks one only ever thinks up belatedly (i.e. when already descending the stairs): “I should’ve said (fill in blank)!” etc. One of Demand’s ironic allusions to his title is a new work titled “Landing,” which shows the shards of broken Qing vases on a staircase–a mishap caused by a visitor to The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge in January 2006, who stumbled on his shoelaces and crashed into the three eighteenth-century vases, smashing them to pieces. As ever, Demand combines conceptual rigor and exacting craft in his painstakingly re-created sets, with their eerie edge of artifice. L’Esprit d’Escalier presents an overview of his current work in 23 large photographs, plus a film project and an architectural installation specially prepared for his Irish Museum exhibition. Alongside an excerpt from David Foster Wallace’s Girl with Curious Hair, it also includes commissioned writings by Dave Eggers, Paul Oliver, Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith, Rachael Thomas and Enrique Juncosa.
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