Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Khmer Rouge and its Consequences

Documentation as Artistic Memory Work 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge forces seizing power in Cambodia. When Pol Pot’s ultra-communist henchmen took Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, few realised this would trigger one of the worst human tragedies of the last century. When the country was liberated
by Vietnamese troops three years, eight months and twenty days later, the Cambodian genocide is estimated to have cost the lives of 1,700,000 people – approximately 21% of the country’s population at that time. The subsequent civil war lasted until nearly the end of the 1990s and turned this South-East Asian kingdom on the Mekong River into one of the world’s poorest countries. It was not until 2007 that a tribunal, supported by the United Nations, began its work of trying senior Khmer Rouge officials for crimes perpetrated during the Pol Pot years.

To exemplify how artists have critically engaged with the process of reappraising Cambodia’s most recent history, this exhibition is showcasing six works, all employing a documentary approach. The exhibition takes works by Cambodian artists Rithy Panh, Khvay Samnang and Vandy Rattana as its point of departure. With their films, videos and photographic works, all three address and explore the responsibility for coming to terms with memory and recent processes of land destruction. Their works are juxtaposed with contributions by German artist Günther Uecker, British-born photographer Tim Page and Singaporean theatre director Ong Keng Sen.

Rithy Panh‘s film „The Missing Picture“ (2013) will be screened daily at 5:25pm in the exhibition.
From 11 am to 5:25 pm a film programme, curated by Nico Mesterharm will be shown.  

An exhibition by the Academy of Arts in cooperation with Meta House Phnom Penh.
Supported by the Society of the Friends of the Academy of Arts, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

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