Video excerpts courtesy of Pimpaka Towira, dir., Mae Nak, VHS, 1997

mae nak: the close-up and the invisible

Yongyu Chen provides a new lens on the well-known Thai ghost Nak in his video essay, “Mae Nak: The Close-Up and the Invisible.” Chen draws on Pimpaka Towira’s 1997 film, Mae Nak, to suggest new understandings of cinema, ontology, desire, and nation.

The eikon exhibition positions a productive tension to the ostensibly more explicitly politicized discursive modes appearing in praxis and episteme.

While episteme’s inaugural subject addresses explicit environmental crisis afflicting contemporary Asia, the eikon exhibit, “Oceans, Waters, and Acquifers,” digs into fundamental historical linkages among the natural world, bio-knowledge, and representation. “Oceans’” shifting visuality draws us into deep histories of the human body and geontological concepts into fluid relation, animating alternate epistemologies of life and world that present as many questions about the state of “the environment” as does realpolitik. 

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