View of “Korakrit Arunanondchai,” 2018. On-screen: No history in a room filled with people with funny names 5, 2018. Foreground: untitled stuffed animals.

Korakrit Arunanondchai


This was probably the closest you’ll ever come to being trapped in a cave with an androgynous paint-covered performer; multiple Thai demigods; a tribe of silent, dust-covered screen worshippers; a Southeast Asian Christian cult; and military relics from the Cold War. Seemingly populated by a cast of hundreds, Korakrit Arunanondchai’s mesmerizing three-channel film installation No history in a room filled with people with funny names 5, 2018, runs only about thirty-one minutes but feels epic. Accompanied by a haunting soundtrack of words and music designed by Aaron David Ross, and with lush camerawork by the artist and his longtime collaborator Alex Gvojic (among others), these moving images would be seductively hypnotic even without their wide-ranging, fragmented narratives and profoundly existential themes.

In a corner of the darkened gallery was a cluttered “garden” composed of shells,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.