Primitive a project by Apichatpong Weerasethakul explores the concepts of history and memory in Nabua, a village in Northeastern Thailand, a place where memories and ideologies became extinct, where Apichatpong suggests a utopian chance to find reconciliation through remembering.
...The story of Nabua undeniably has echoes of the current political turmoil in Thailand. Institutions involved in those events of the past, along with new ones, are the key players on the ongoing chaos. Just as in the past, they manipulate the public psyche instilling it with faith and fear. The Primitiveproject is about re-imagining this little terrain of Thailand called Nabua, a place where memories and ideologies are extinct. Primitive is a portrait of the teenage male descendants of the farmer communists, freed from the widow ghost’s empire.
The various videos I made at Nabua, like my feature films, are impressions of light and memory. There are natural illuminations from the sun and from fire. The lights seep through the doors and windows and burn the rice fields. There are artificial ones like fluorescent tubes and LED lights like dots of recollections. And there are simulated bolts of lightning that destroy the peaceful landscape and unearth the spirits. As in the book A Man Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Primitive is about reincarnation and transformation. It’s a celebration of destructive force in nature and in us that burns in order to be reborn and mutate.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, January 2009
This is the first project that MUAC presents in the context of FICUNAM (The International Film Festival of the National Autonomous University of Mexico). The project includes 7 video-installations, 1 video, 1 book and a series of photographs.