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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street

Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday, 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
ArchiveEvent
9 Sep 17·8:00 PM

Performance

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn: Object Without Shadow

Offsite at Chinese War Memorial, Vancouver

An inflated plastic bag covers the head of the artist. The artist’s face looking down her hands is visible through this translucent bag. Many people seated behind her are watching this performance.

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn, ‘Something That Needs Nothing’, 2011, still from performance. Courtesy the artist. Photography by Joe Starbuck

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn is the eighth and final artist to participate in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, a travelling artist residency originated by Access Gallery and produced in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery and Burrard Arts Foundation.

In Object without Shadow, Skoolisariyaporn re-enacts a ritual she practiced with her father’s Chinese-born family each September, the period when it is believed that ghosts are able to make a momentary reappearance from the afterlife. In this custom, paper replicas of desirable objects — such as jewelry, iPhones, computers and mahjong sets — are presented as offerings to ancestors. Skoolisariyaporn’s performance combines a series of offerings with the reading aloud of texts to consider the myriad ghosts produced under capitalism: from the spectral return of living things, to the invisible labour of historical Chinese immigrants to Vancouver. In this way she conjures a relationship between the North Pacific Ocean in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, as a theatre for both colonialism and neoliberalism.

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn’s practice involves moving image, performance, text, and installation, and examines notions of human and non-human history embedded in geological spacetime: the history of mankind as remembered by the earth and its landscape. She is particularly interested in the landscape of the sea, because a “seascape” offers the potential to imagine a perpetual landscape that transcends the concept of “space” into “time.” In this way, she suggests, the landscape of the sea suggests a new way to understand and approach history and spatiality. Recent exhibitions and performances include Chongqing Changjiang Contemporary Museum, Chongqing, China; Biquini Wax, Mexico City; Deptford Lounge, London, UK; Kunstakademie Dusseldorf; Gruentaler 9, Berlin; and Five Years Project, London, UK. Skoolisariyaporn lives and works in London and Bangkok.