Presented by FRACs’ national network Platform, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) and the Embassy of France, the exhibition titled ‘What is not visible is not invisible: Selection from the 23 French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art (FRAC)’ explores the role of arts from people’s differing perspectives and invites them to open up to a new tangibility that is actually invisible, yet could be perceived by the senses and insights through the use of unconventional art mediums.
The exhibition displays 23 artworks created by 21 French and international artists, including the two acclaimed Thai artists Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Pratchaya Phinthong. Here are our picks of the installations and mixed media in this exhibition:
What is not visible is not invisible by Julien Discrit is a wall installation which appears and disappears. The phase: What is not visible is not invisible becomes visible on a wall when a visitor passes by, as their body movement activates an infrared lamp that reveals the ultraviolet ink, and disappears when the infared lamp is deactivated. This work implies that one has to interact in order to actualise the invisible, before it can be perceived with the eyes.
What at first appears to be an egg-yolk in the film Pulmo Marina by Aurélien Froment turns out to be a Medusa Jellyfish (so named because it gives the effect of the tentacled head of Medusa, the Greek mythical monster). The five-minute sequence shot portrays the jellyfish spreading its ever-changing shape in water with incoherent background music and a voiceover narrating the myths behind the jellyfish, its mysterious and captivating body, and interviews with aquarium employees at Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, where the sequence was shot. This artwork creates a new and unique audience perspective for observing an aquatic animal, one that could be different to their actual experiences so far.
The installation Plus de lumière by Claude Lévêque (left) is a collection of lightbulbs in a circular settinh with unstable and alternating behaviours – that is, on or off, together or alternately – presenting a contradictory scheme.
Major Tom by Edith Dekyndt (right) references the character Major Tom from David Bowie’s hit Space Oddity. The installation comprises of a large sphere which looks heavy but yet seems to float freely in space with varying atmospheric conditions, replicating the imaginary route of a planet or a spacecraft.
Blue Sail by Hans Haacke is a piece of blue chiffon silk that seems to sway in the air, or be bouyed by invisible waves, with help from an electric fan. It creates an experimental conversation: non-verbal yet sentimentally compelling, a story of comfort with its light texture and free movement surrounded by elements such as the hanging object, the invisible power of man-created wind, the humans who invented this piece of work and those thereafter who interpret it.
In his Déjà Vu (Hallu) video, Michel François filmed his own hands transforming a sheet of aluminium foil on a split screen. The word Hallu possibly derives from a mashing of the words hallucination and aluminium, and the video is a simulation of Rorschach’s psychological test. The aluminium foil shapes that emerge on the screen likely look familiar to the observer, yet are not defined enough to determine whether they are animals, faces of monsters, or everyday objects. Interpretations will vary in accordance with each observer’s personal experiences of their past.
Raymond Hain’s text on forex installation may be plain-looking, but it builds a web of formal and phonetic similarities, word games and ideas. Taken from Louis Guilloux’s book Away from Paris, the French phrase means: One should always want to travel. This artist is known for his intellect and play with words, and here he shows again how depth can be found behind an intrinsically simple appearance.
In his work titled Serie de 12 figures, Richard Fauguet borrows 12 silhouettes from famous artworks and overlays them with venilia paper and disco-glitter vinyl stickers. Its saturated colours depict playfulness and an avant-garde spirit, yet his work remains educational with subtle reflections.
There are more installations, films and other artwork to be viewed and experienced with your own senses on the 3rd and 4th floors of Bangkok Art and Cultural Center from 17th June until 26th July 2017. Visit www.bacc.or.th for more information.