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Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Two Planets: Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and the Thai Villagers, 2008, still from a color video, 16 minutes.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook

Tyler Rollins Fine Art

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Two Planets: Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and the Thai Villagers, 2008, still from a color video, 16 minutes.

In 2008 and again in 2011, the Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook took copies of famous European paintings, including examples by Édouard Manet, Jean-François Millet, and Artemisia Gentileschi, and of a couple of works by Jeff Koons out into the towns and countryside of Thailand to see what people there might make of them. I know of rare, similar projects undertaken not by artists but by scholars; after the 1980s debates over the influence of tribal art on early modernism, for example, the art historian Robert Farris Thompson brought images of Cubist works to Africa to see how they’d be understood there. But Rasdjarmrearnsook’s videos, four of which appeared in this exhibition, come across as something other than art history or anthropology.

In her video on Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863, for example, Rasdjarmrearnsook poses her full-scale, ornately framed reproduction in

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